FOCUS 2: Discover Signatures of Niche Adaptation through Comparative Genomics and Functional Genetic Studies
Lake Tuz salt flats, Central Anatolia, Turkey
Image by Sun Hee Yeon
Image by Gunsu Inan
Images by Hyewon Hong
Copy number variation in putative Li transporters
S. parvula adapted to high lithium in Lake Tuz soils?
Interpreting recently assembled genomes is biologically and computationally challenging. If new gene models have high sequence similarity with previously identified genes in model species, we assume similar functions for the new gene models until functional studies replace the current annotations. Through comparative genomics we try to identify the similarities and differences in the novel extremophyte genomes compared to model genomes with the prospect that the differences in the genome level hold the key to different adaptations observed at the phenome level of the extremophytes. We investigate select candidate genomic variation using transgenic studies to confirm novel adaptive traits.
Schrenkiella parvula with mature siliques growing in its native habitat, Central Turkey
Image by Ehmet Yaprak
Schrenkiella parvula roots
Image by Thu Nguyen