Animal Genomics, Evolution & BioMedicine

The blind underground mole rat Spalax is a central animal research subject of the IOE. The main objectives of its studies include genome sequencing, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome analyses aiming at the elucidation of its high hypoxia stress tolerance on cellular and organismal levels. Tolerance to hypoxia have apparently driven cancer resistance, longevity and healthy aging, which are also in focus of ongoing research projects. Other IOE studies of Spalax embrace proteomics, phenomics (morphology, physiology, and behavior), cytogenetics, dealing with major evolutionary biology problems such as biodiversity, speciation, and adaptation to extreme hypoxic environments.