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Lab ImageDeniz Erezyilmaz

Princeton University
Guyot Hall
Princeton, NJ 8540

(206) 235-8099

PI: NO, postdoc
Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Quantitative PCR (qPCR), Microarrays, Sanger Sequencing, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, QTL Mapping, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, RNA interference(RNAi), Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Transgenesis
Research Description: My research seeks to answer large evolutionary questions in specific, molecular terms. Research in evolutionary developmental biology has shown that evolutionary change across great phylogenetic distances is caused by changes in the onset, distribution, or properties of key regulatory genes. However, how changes in these key genes arise is currently unclear. Do changes between species occur through single mutations of large effect, or do they appear incrementally, through the collaboration of many mutations at many different loci? What types of genes are modified to produce differences between species? Are they highly conserved ‘master regulators’, or are they novel genes that have very narrow functions? And finally, do differences in morphology and differences in behavior arise through different types of mutations? I believe that these questions are best answered by using unbiased methods to locate mutations that cause changes in traits, and by testing the function of these mutations. I use closely related species of the genus, Drosophila (fruit flies) to ask how genomes respond to evolutionary forces. My approach begins with a behavioral, morphological or physiological difference between sister-species. I next use genetics to scramble the genomes through inter-breeding. I then use genomic methods, which I have helped to develop, to identify the loci that have evolved between species. Finally, I use developmental genetics to analyze the consequences of the causal mutation(s).
Lab Web Page: http://www.princeton.edu/~deniz/deniz.html
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
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