Our research interests lie in both comparative and population genomics to understand how genetic variation contributes to fish diversification and adaptation. There are two major research areas in my lab.
1. Gene duplication and consequence in fish genome
Gene duplication is commonly believed to be major evolutionary significance. The successful diversification of teleost fishes has been thought as a result of the whole-genome duplication in their common ancestor. Consequently, many duplicated genes are in the current teleost genomes, which makes teleost fishes one of the best model system to study gene duplication and their consequence. For example, our earlier study found that indels are important driving forces of duplicated gene evolution (Guo et al., 2012). With this topic, we will analyze publicly available fish genome data to characterize how duplicated genes evolve in fish genome (Guo 2017), and eventually to understand their role during the successful radiation of teleosts, by using comparative genomics approach.
2. Local adaptation in fish
Local adaptation is when a population has evolved to be more well-suited to its environment than other populations of the same species, and is difficult to detect in marine fishes with large population size, e.g., due to weak population structure, low genetic differentiation, no adaptive variation, etc. Our earlier studies show that local adaptation could be inferred by using population genomics with integrating landscape genomics approach (Guo, et al., 2015; 2016a; 2016b). As such, we will use population genomics approach by utilizing next generation sequencing (NGS) data to identify the genetic signature of adaptation in wild fish population, e.g., the divergence between marine and freshwater sticklebacks, the genetic basis of adaptation to different salinity environments in salmons, etc.