Nematode evolutionary genomics

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NemaDNADrs Dave Lunt, Amir Szitenberg

The Root Knot Nematodes are some of the world’s most important crop pathogens. The genus contains a wide range of reproductive modes, with repeated transitions between some reproductive modes. This raises interesting possibilities to investigate the genomic consequences of the loss of meiotic recombination. DNA sequencing shows that several mitotic parthenogen species are the result of an interspecific hybridisation event, and we are now investigating the genomes of parent (meiotic) and offspring (ameiotic) species. We are particularly interested in the effect on loss of recombination on transposable elements, mutation rate and genome structure. Since the RKN have small genomes there are many possibilities for comparative genomic investigations of genome content in a phylogenetic context.