Evolutionary Genomics

Group leader:  Fyodor Kondrashov

We are currently a small laboratory mostly utilizing computational tools to invertigate questions of evolution on the molecular, cellular and organismal levels. At the same time we are actively developing an experimental venue of research, where we hope to be able to apply massive DNA sequencing technologies to ask simple questions on adaptation and selection in the field. We hope that our experimental efforts will supplement our theoretical and computational venues.

The importance of epistasis

In a paper published a couple of weeks ago in Nature, a result of collaboration of  our lab with the lab of Comparative Bioinformatics, we detail the results of a small-lateral but large-vertical scale study of protein evolution. By creating an increadibly large multiple alignment we contrasted the diversity of different amino acids present in orthologous sites with the observed short-term rate of evolution.

New trends in protein sequence divergence

In an article published online in Nature, we validated the hypothesis that compensatory interactions allow most protein sequences, even the most conservative ones, to maintain the same function while diverging in sequence almost without limit.

 

 

Compensatory evolution and fitness valleys

Negative selection prevents the fixation of deleterious alleles. Thus, although some deleterious alleles can segregate in the population, conventional wisdom holds that deleterious mutations are evolutionary dead ends. In an letter to Nature published today online we show that for mt-tRNAs this is not always the case.

Theories on gene duplication are classified

A review article detailing and contrasting different theories on the evolution of gene duplications has been published online in Nature Reviews Genetics. In this article we present the modern state of the theory of duplicated genes and provide concrete recommendations for future experiments that may do a better job at elucidating the selective mechanisms at work in the evolution of duplicated genes.

Ecological Genomics Summer School in Bologna

Date

Mon, 2009-10-19 09:15 - Wed, 2009-10-21 19:15

Sample collection trip and a conference in Russia

Date

Mon, 2009-09-28 19:00 - Mon, 2009-10-12 13:00
Group photo
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