Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics

Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics

Understanding how species evolve requires not only knowledge about their biology, but also information about the genes that control their development. Research laboratories at MSU are actively exploring evolution in a wide spectrum of organisms including viruses, conifers, monkey flowers, fish, migratory birds, dogs and even artificial, digital organisms. Characterizations of genetic variability play a key role in defining strategies for species conservation, which by definition, seeks to protect a threatened gene pool.

Investigating the role of both random and directional forces in shaping species is the focus of most research groups. Active efforts are underway to characterize the mechanisms of adaptation and the complex genetic interactions that define them. Of particular interest are the temporal and spacial patterns in environmental grids and the resulting adaptive variation. Direct tests of evolutionary hypotheses are being undertaken in the bacteria E. coli to take advantage of their rapid generations and large populations. Other kinds of research interests involve the evolution of pathogenic forms of E. coli, the factors making plant viruses infective, the role of chromosome doubling in plant evolution and the mechanisms that drive patterns of soil microbial distribution. Several groups are working to determine the most effective ways to predict the genetic "health" of natural communities and measuring the ecological impact of genetically modified plants.

Ingo Braasch
Ingo Braasch

(Intergrative Biology), Comparative genomics and gene family evolution in vertebrates, Evo-Devo, developmental genetics in zebrafish and other fish systems. braasch@msu.edu

Henry Chung
Henry Chung

(Entomology) Investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying environmental adaptation and reproductive isolation. hwchung@msu.edu

Jeffrey Conner
Jeffrey Conner

Mechanisms of adaptation and constraint; evolutionary, ecological, and quantitative genetics and genomics; natural and artificial selection; flower and weed evolution

Danny Ducat
Danny Ducat

Autotroph-heterotroph co-culture systems as a model for studying microbial interactions and co-evolution

David R. Foran
David R. Foran

DNA analysis and identification of endangered species, forensic casework (wildlife and domestic species)

Maren Friesen
Maren Friesen

Local adaption of plants and microbes to abiotic stess

Jason Gallant
Jason Gallant

The Gallant lab is interested in understanding the genomic basis for the orgin and diversification of electrogenesis in teleost fishes

Wen Huang
Wen Huang

(Animal Science) Genetics and evolution of complex quantitative traits using a combination of computational and empirical approaches. huangw53@msu.edu

Ning Jiang
Ning Jiang

Application of bioinformatics to discover and characterize plant transposons and retrotransposons

Leslie Kuhn
Leslie Kuhn

Developing computational approaches for protein folding, ligand interactions, and design

Richard Lenski
Richard Lenski

Ecology, genetics and evolution of bacteria and digital organisms

David Lowry
David Lowry

Genetic and genomic mechanisms of ecological adaptations and how those adaptations contribute to the formation of new species

Gemma Reguera
Gemma Reguera

Molecular genetics of microbial energy transduction: genetics and enviornmental engineering; applied microbiology for bioremediation, nanobiotechnology and bioenergy

Kim Scribner
Kim Scribner

Application of molecular tools to study vertebrate population ecology and evolutionary biology; conservation genetics

Shian-Han Shiu
Shian-Han Shiu

We are interested in questions related to genome and gene family evolution, environmental stress response and its evolution, transcriptional regulatory mechanisms and evolution using experimental, computational, and systems biological approaches

George W. Sundin
George W. Sundin

Evolution of bacterial plasmids

Patrick Venta
Patrick Venta

Mammalian genome mapping; assessment of canine germplasm

Dechun Wang
Dechun Wang

Soybean breeding and genetics in disease and insect resistance, seed quality and agronomic performance

Barry Williams
Barry Williams

Molecular genetic basis of evolutionary diversification and stasis in yeasts