Yeast Transformations

The goal of my project is to determine if the evolution of sexual agglutinin genes is a possible mechanism behind speciation. These past two weeks, I’ve been performing transformations to insert the sexual agglutinin genes I am analyzing into European, Migrant and North American strains of Saccharomyces paradoxus.

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Preparation for Allele Swapping

This summer, I am researching possible mechanisms behind speciation in the yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus. I hope to determine if the evolution of sexual adhesin genes, which are required for sexual reproduction, drives speciation. Recently, there was a migration of a Saccharomyces paradoxus population from Europe to North America. This migrant population has displayed evidence of speciation in its mating preferences. In my project, I am analyzing the mating behaviors of North American, European and migrant strains after switching sexual adhesin alleles among the different populations.

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Abstract: The Role of Sexual Adhesins in Yeast Speciation

Hello, my name is Rachel and I’m a junior at the College. This summer, I will work in the Murphy lab to investigate speciation in populations of the yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus. Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new and distinct species arise from a single species. Usually, one population splits into two, and the populations diverge from one another until they can no longer reproduce successfully if they come back into contact. In my project, I will investigate the mechanisms and genetic basis of speciation in eukaryotic microbes. Specifically, I am interested in determining if genes required for sexual reproduction are undergoing selection and preventing diverging populations from mating with one another, completing speciation.

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