Genome Duplication and Gene Network Evolution

One of the most fundamental discoveries from genomic analysis has been the prevalence of genome duplication in the history of eukaryotic taxa. Genome duplication generates raw material for adaptation and the evolution of complexity in the form of duplicated genetic loci, but genome doubling can also have negative fitness consequences in the short term (Ref. 13 and citations therein).

During my postdoc with Kirsten Bomblies, I investigateFigure_3d how the evolution of auto-tetraploidy has shaped genome-wide patterns of polymorphism in the plant Arabidopsis arenosa, and how adaptive evolution has acted on a handful of highly conserved and interacting meiosis proteins to stabilize chromosome segregation in tetraploids (Refs 9-10).

The Hollister lab uses both comparative and experimental genomics to answer fundamental questions about early events in the evolution of polyploid species, such as:

1. How does genome duplication alter the structure and function of gene interaction networks? Does genome duplication inevitably lead to increased metabolic diversity?

2. How does genome duplication alter the distribution of mutational effects, dominance relations, and epistatic interactions among loci?

3. What is the genetic basis of cytological and genetic diploidization? What genetic factors determine the dividing line between homologous and homoeologous chromosomes?