Genome-wide molecular dating
Zuckerkandl and Pauling showed 50 years ago that molecular sequences are ‘documents of evolutionary history’. The composition of the molecular sequences of organisms living today has been passed on from ancestors from long ago. Unused segments get lost, new parts are added and small changes occur because replication is not error free. Whatever modifications have happened, they will have left traces in the molecular sequences.
In the advent of next generation sequencing technologies we have thousands of genomes available, however, we lack methods for genome-wide molecular dating. In this project, we will develop novel methods which will model not only mutations but also processes such as gene duplication, loss and transfer. We will also consider variation within species and devise methods that allow to use the genome-wide DNA sequences of multiple individuals per species to perform molecular dating.
"Polymorphism-aware species trees with advanced mutation models, bootstrap and rate heterogeneity" by Dominik Schrempf, Bui Quang Minh, Arndt von Haeseler, and Carolin Kosiol. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/12/01/483479
Carolin is giving a talk "Genome-wide estimation of the evolutionary history of six baboon species with polymorphism-aware phylogenetic models" at the SMBE2018, Symposium SY24, Room 302 at Thu 9th July 12:30-15:30. Check it out if you're there!