Role of chromosome structures and selection in conservation of long intervals of animal chromosomes for millions of years of evolution 


Chromosomes play a crucial role in organismal development, functioning, and evolution by supporting structural and functional organisation of DNA in the cell nucleus and contributing to cell division. Long regions of chromosomes that are stable in animal evolution were shown to be important for organismal development (Larkin et al., 2009) and containing genes associated with clade-specific phenotypes (Farre et al., submitted). This Ph.D. programme will address the problem of evolutionary chromosome stability applying an interdisciplinary approach. We will combine the bioinformatic analysis of large genome sets with the cutting-edge techniques of molecular biology and visualisation of comparative chromosome structures.


Larkin D.M., Pape G., Donthu R., Auvil L., Welge M. & Lewin H.A. 2009. Breakpoint regions and homologous synteny blocks in chromosomes have different evolutionary histories. Genome Research, 19: 770-777. 


Kim J., Larkin D.M., Cai Q., Asan, Zhang Y., Ge R., Auvil L., Capitanu B., Zhang G., Lewin H.A. & Ma J. 2013. RACA: Reference-Assisted Chromosome Assembly 2013. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 110: 1785-1790. 


Murphy W.J., Larkin D.M., Everts-van der Wind A., Bourque G., Tesler G., Auvil L., Beever J.E., Chowdhary B.P., Galibert F., Gatzke L., Hitte C., Meyers S.N., Milan D., Ostrander E.A., Pape G., Parker H.G., Raudsepp T., Rogatcheva M.B., Schook L.B., Skow L.C., Welge M., Womack J.E., O'Brien S.J., Pevzner P.A. & Lewin H.A. 2005. Dynamics of mammalian chromosome evolution inferred from multispecies comparative maps. Science. 309: 613-617.


Farré M., Narayan J., Slavov G.T., Auvil L., Li C., Jarvis E.D., Burt D.W., Griffin D.K., Larkin D.M. Structural dynamics of chromosome evolution is associated with ancestral and lineage-specific phenotypes in birds, archosaurians, and other reptiles (submitted)

Biological Areas:



Genes, development and STEM approaches to biology