Identifying and annotating rapidly expanding gene families in insects

This is an ongoing project.

Faculty Researcher: Markus Friedrich

Contact Details

Markus Friedrich


More than forty years ago, gene duplication has been recognized as a major source of evolutionary innovation. A hallmark validation was the discovery of the Hox gene cluster, the deeply conserved string of tandem-duplicated homeodomain transcription factor genes, which regulate the patterning along the longitudinal body axis in animals. Today, the burgeoning field of comparative genomics continues to reveal many examples of gene duplication driven adaptive gene family expansions that give novel insights into of how and why species and lineages changed in past times. My lab has been successful in involving undergraduate students in the characterization of specific gene families using online bioinformatic tools and the rapidly increasing number of complete genome sequences from insects. Students interested in bioinformatics, molecular evolution, insects, or "all of the above", are welcome to join the effort.


This project may be joined starting from junior year but a B or higher in BIO3070 Genetics would be a better starting point.

Last Updated

October 14, 2016