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Lab ImageScott Hodges

Dept. Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106


Taxa Studied: Plants
Techniques Employed: Quantitative PCR (qPCR), Sanger Sequencing, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, QTL Mapping, SNP Mapping, RNA interference(RNAi)
Research Description: We are interested in understanding the genetic basis of adaptations. We work primarily with the columbine genus, Aquilegia where species differ extensively in flower morphology (and attendant pollinators) as well as habitat specialization. We are particularly interested in how variation in flower morphology affects (and is affected by) specific pollinators and how these floral visitors influence reproductive isolation and speciation. A particular advantage of Aquilegia is the ability to produce fertile hybrids between virtually all species. This allows us to create recombinant lines both for mapping the genes underlying traits and to assess their fitness in the field. We have helped develop genomic resources for Aquilegia such as a fully sequenced reference genome, extensive expression data and gene silencing. We are now using this reference genome to perform genome scans for differences between taxa, expression profiling, QTL mapping etc. Current projects include understanding the genetic basis of flower color, nectar spur development, natural homeotic mutants, and adaptation to serpentine soil.
Lab Web Page: http://https://www.eemb.ucsb.edu/people/faculty/hodges
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
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