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Lab ImageEric Haag

University of Maryland, College Park
Department of Biology
Building 144
College Park, MD 20740


Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Quantitative PCR (qPCR), Microarrays, Sanger Sequencing, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, SNP Mapping, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, RNA interference(RNAi), Scanning Electron Microscopy, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Mutagenesis
Research Description: Many animal and plant groups show a pattern of variation in which an ancestral, fully outcrossing sexual system is occasionally abandoned in favor of partial or complete uniparental reproduction. Dr. Haag's lab has focused on one of the most experimentally tractable of these groups, the rhabditid nematode genus Caenorhabditis. At least three separate times in this genus, the historically female sex has evolved self-fertility through the acquisition of limited spermatogenesis. Starting with the wealth of knowledge about "the worm," C. elegans, the Haag Lab's research has touched on a number of related topics. A major focus has been on the evolution of germline sex determination (the proximate cause of self-fertilty) and the genetics of convergent evolution. More recently, his group has documented a number of surprising consequences of self-fertility, such as substantial loss of protein-coding genes and hypersensitivity to the harmful effects of cross-species mating. These latter topics underscore the important ways in which a simple change in transmission genetics can rapidly, reproducibly, and radically alter other biological attributes of an organism.
Lab Web Page: http://www.life.umd.edu/biology/haag/index.html
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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