Application of comparative genomics for detection of genomic features and transcriptional regulatory elements

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Lu, Hong
Major Professor
Volker Brendel
Roger Wise
Committee Member
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Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology seeks to teach subcellular and cellular processes, genome dynamics, cell structure and function, and molecular mechanisms of development, in so doing offering a Major in Biology and a Major in Genetics.

The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology was founded in 2005.

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In the wake of advanced DNA sequencing technology, a large number of bacterial, animal, and plant genomes have now been completely sequenced and deposited into public databases. The acceleration of genome (and transcriptome) sequence data accumulation remains unabated and poses considerable challenges for data storage, access, and transfer, with even greater challenges for comprehensive data mining to turn the genome information into knowledge.

In particular, detailed genome annotation with respect to the encoded genes and their regulation is still largely confined to a few model species. Thus, important current research problems revolve around automated genome annotation and the related question of how widely applicable insights from the model species are with respect to novel genomes. For example, what features of genome organization are conserved across species? What differences in gene repertoire correlate with clade-specific traits or related species? To what extent are elements of transcriptional regulation shared?

In this thesis, I discussed comparative genomics approaches to these questions. First, I described genome features of eight recently sequenced plant species, with standards for comparison provided by the well established model species for dicots (Arabidopsis) and monocots (rice). Secondly, I discussed software and statistical models for exploring possible cis-regulatory elements of co-regulated genes, with particular application to mapping gene expression data for a species with incomplete genome data to close model genomes.

Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011