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Mitch Cruzan

Portland State University
Department of Biology
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97007


Taxa Studied: Plants
Techniques Employed: Quantitative PCR (qPCR), Microarrays, Sanger Sequencing, 454 Pyrosequencing, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, QTL Mapping, SNP Mapping
Research Description: Research in our laboratory centers around questions in ecological genetics, with a particular focus on the role of hybridization as it may facilitate adaptation. Our research utilizes two emerging model systems that have a history of hybridization; 1) Populations of Piriqueta that were derived from hybridization between ecologically divergent lineages within the last 5,000 years have spread into habitats that are seasonally arid and sites that are continually mesic; and, 2) the invasive slender false brome, Brachypodium sylvaticum, originated from hybridization among European accessions within the last 100 years, and is in the early stages of range expansion and transition into an aggressively invasive species. Our research centers on historical adaptation to the extremely arid habitats in Central Florida where hybrid Piriqueta populations are found, and the evolution of invasiveness in a changing climate in Brachypodium. Keywords: Phenotypic plasticity, selection gradients, retrospective selection analysis, Digital Gene Expression (DGE), transcriptome, microsatellites (SSR), SNPs, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), connecting mRNA expression with phenotypic traits.
Lab Web Page: http://web.pdx.edu/~cruzan/
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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