Mathematical models for evolution of genome structure Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Thomas, Suja
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • The structure of a genome can be characterized by its gene content. Evolution of genome structure in closely related species can be studied by examining their synteny or conserved gene order and content. A variety of evolutionary rearrangements like polyploidy, inversions, transpositions, translocations, gene duplication and gene loss degrade synteny over time. In this dissertation, I approach the problem of understanding synteny in genomes and how far back its evolutionary history can be traced in multiple ways. First, I present a probabilistic model of the rearrangements gene loss and transposition (gain) and apply it to the problem of estimating the relative contribution of these rearrangements within a set of syntenic genome segments. This model can be used to predict gene content in syntenic regions of unsequenced genomes. Next, I use optimization methods to recover syntenic segments between genomes based on reconstructions of their parent ancestry. I examine how these reconstructions can be used as input to programs that identify syntenic regions in genomes to reveal more synteny than was previously detected. I use simulations that incorporate each of the evolutionary rearrangements described above to evaluate the models presented in this dissertation. Finally, I apply these models to genomic data from yeast and flowering plants, two eukaryotic systems that are known to have experienced polyploidy. This application is of particular relevance in flowering plants, in which a lot of economically and scientifically important polyploid species have incompletely sequenced genomes.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Biomedical Engineering."
  • Vision, Todd
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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