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Lab ImageKaren Crow-Sanchez

San Francisco State University
Department of Biology
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132


Taxa Studied: Vertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, In Situ Hybridization, Morpholinos
Research Description: We use molecular approaches to understand the evolutionary forces that generate biological diversity, novelty, and reproductive isolation in fishes. Research in FishLab is mainly focused on a family of genes that specify body plan features-the Hox genes. Specifically we are interested in the molecular evolution of duplicate Hox genes in ray-finned fishes and the putative relationship between genome duplication and the evolution of complexity and diversity in vertebrates. A specific hypothesis we are testing is that Hox expression during late phases of development (i.e. after A/P axis formation) may contribute to novel body plan features. To this end, we are investigating the role of duplicate genes in distally elongating fields such as the paddlefish rostrum and variation in dermal appendages of seahorses and sea dragons. Other projects in the lab include investigating the evolution of multiple embryos per egg capsule in skates of the genus Raja; and the evolution of plasticity in sex allocation in the simultaneous hermaphroditic gobies of the genus Lythrypnus.
Lab Web Page: http://bio.sfsu.edu/people/karen-crow-sanchez
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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