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Lab ImagePatricia Wittkopp

University of Michigan
1061 Kraus Natural Sciences Building
830 North University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048


Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals, Other, We work with various Drosophila species as well as yeast
Techniques Employed: Sanger Sequencing, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, QTL Mapping, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Transgenesis, Mutagenesis, Other, Pyrosequencing (distinct from 454 Pyrosequencing)
Research Description: The long-term goals of my research program are to identify specific genetic changes that underlie phenotypic differences within and between species, to understand how these changes impact development, and to determine how the structure of developmental and regulatory systems influences evolutionary change. To achieve these goals, I combine methods from developmental biology, population and quantitative genetics, molecular evolution, bioinformatics and genomics. Most projects investigate evolutionary changes within the genus Drosophila, a group of flies that provides an excellent framework for examining molecular mechanisms underlying phenotypic evolution. During the last century, more has been learned about the genetics and development of Drosophila melanogaster than any other metazoan, and with twelve Drosophila speciesâ?? genomes sequenced, this genus remains at the forefront of evolutionary genetics in the genomic era. Since joining the University of Michigan faculty, I have also been working with the baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae -- perhaps the only eukaryote with more genetic tools and existing knowledge about regulatory networks than D. melanogaster. During the last five years, my research group and I have investigated (a) the evolution of a specific phenotype: Drosophila pigmentation, (b) the evolution of gene expression on a genomic scale, (c) quantitative properties of new regulatory mutations, and (d) the evolution of cis-regulatory sequence and function. Taken together, these projects provide detailed, single-gene studies of gene regulation and phenotypic evolution as well as insights into regulatory evolution on a genomic scale. Prior findings, current work, and future plans are described for each of these projects below.
Lab Web Page: http://www.umich.edu/~pwlab/
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
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