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Projects

  • Duplicated pathways

    Polyploid speciation is exceptionally common in plants, often operating sympatrically to saltationally generate new lineages.

  • Cotton blooms

    Comparative evolutionary genomics and domestication genomics are among the most active areas of research in the lab. Please check back here often for updates on our massive genomic resequencing effort, our comparative molecular evolutionary analyses, and our work on domestication genomics.

  • Ardium

    Somewhat remarkably, given its importance in human commence, new species of cotton continue to be discovered.  Our lab is among the few worldwide that maintains an active interest in fundamental plant exploration and discovery in the cotton genus.

  • Biased homoeolog expression in polyploids

    One of the important realizations to emerge from numerous studies of polyploid plants is that polyploid creates massive alterations in gene expression.

  • Rubisco

    One underexplored dimension of allopolyploid evolution is cytonuclear interactions. Potential stoichiometric disruption caused by merging two nuclear genomes but only inheriting one set of progenitor organellar genomes (usually the maternal) suggests that cytonuclear accommodation is a necessary aspect of allopolyploid evolution. Our exploration of cytonuclear accommodation in allotetraploids of Gossypium has contributed initial understanding about how nuclear homoeologous genes (from both parental diploid species) encoding component subunits of one protein complex have evolved in the context of having their counterpart subunits encoded by genes from only one (the maternal) parent.

  • Wild vs. domesticated cotton

    One of the exciting opportunities stimulated by the convergence of modern genomic approaches with other areas of biology is that of resolving the enigmatic processes by which new phenotypes arise.

  • siRNA

    Small RNAs are a diverse category of nuclear-encoded non-coding RNAs that play multiple, central functions in eukaryotic development, stress responses and many other biological processes. The major two types of small RNAs are microRNAs (miRNAs) and silencing RNAs (siRNAs). The major focus of this project is the role of and divergence among sRNAs during cotton diploid divergence, polyploid formation, and cotton domestication. Accordingly, millions of small RNA sequences from next generation sequencing have been generated and analyzed from respective A- and D- diploid cotton and AD1 (upland) wild and domesticated polyploid cotton species. Based on recently published A2 (G.arboreum) and D5 (G. raimondii) genome assemblies, the composition, expression and evolutionary origins of the miRNA families is being characterized.

  • Cotton proteomics

    Because mRNA abundance and protein amounts often are poorly related, it is important to extend the evolutionary analysis of polyploidy and domestication to the proteomic level.