The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have confirmed the award of £326,000 to the McInerney lab to investigate how recombination structures life on the planet.
The title of the research proposal is "Investigating how non-homologous recombination structures genes, proteins, operons, clusters, genomes and ecosystems".
Over a period of three years, this programme will fund two post-doctoral researchers and will facilitate the development of new approaches for understanding the rules for successful non-homologous recombination events.
The project will start in September 2016 and finish at the end of August 2019.
Excerpt: The merging of evolving entities, known as introgression, is the focus of this proposal. The challenge is to move from the current situation where analyses of genetic mergers are relatively ad hoc, to a situation where introgression is as widely understood as phylogenetics, where analysis tools are as widely available, user-friendly and flexible and where evolutionary biologists investigate their data as easily for introgressive processes as they currently investigate the data for treelike processes. This transformation requires the development of software and the analysis of data from the diversity of evolving entities.
Relevant papers from the lab:
Fondi, M., Karkman, A., Tamminen, M., Bosi, E., Virta, M., Fani, R., Alm, E., and McInerney J.O. (2016) Every gene is everywhere but the environment selects: Global geo-localization of gene sharing in environmental samples through network analysis. Genome Biology and Evolution.doi:10.1093/gbe/evw077
McInerney, J.O., Pisani, D. and O'Connell, M. J. (2015) The ring of life hypothesis for eukaryote origins is supported by multiple kinds of data.Philos Trans R Soc Lond, B, Biol Sci 370, 20140323.
Coleman, O., Hogan, R., McGoldrick, N., Rudden, N., McInerney, J.O. (2015) Evolution by Pervasive Gene Fusion in Antibiotic Resistance and Antibiotic Synthesizing Genes. Computation 2015, 3(2), 114-127; doi:10.3390/computation3020114
Nelson-Sathi S., Sousa F.L., Roettger M., Lozada-Chávez N., Thiergart T., Janssen A., Bryant D., Landan G., Schönheit P., Siebers B., McInerney J.O., Martin W.F., (2015) Origins of major archaeal clades correspond to gene acquisitions from bacteria Nature, doi:10.1038/nature13805.
McInerney, J.O., O'Connell, M.J., and Pisani, D. (2014) The hybrid nature of the Eukaryota and a consilient view of life on Earth. Nature Reviews Microbiology 12(6):449-455. doi:10.1038/nrmicro3271.
Haggerty, L.S., Jachiet, P.A., Hanage, W.P., Fitzpatrick, D., Lopez, P., O’Connell, M.J., Pisani, D., Wilkinson, M., Bapteste, E., and McInerney, J.O., (2014) A pluralistic account of homology: adapting the models to the data. Molecular Biology and Evolution 31 (3): 501-516. [pdf]
Halary, S., McInerney, J.O., Lopez, P., and Bapteste E. (2013) EGN: a wizard for construction of gene and genome similarity networks. BMC Evolutionary Biology 23 (13) 146. [pdf]
Bapteste, E., van Iersel, L. Janke, A., Kelchner, S., Kelk, S., McInerney, J.O., Morrison, D.A., Nakhleh, L., Steel, M., Stougie, L. and Whitfield, J. (2013). Networks: Expanding evolutionary thinking. Trends in Genetics 29(8) 439-441. [pdf]
Alvarez-Ponce, D., Lopez, P., Bapteste, E. and McInerney, J.O. (2013). Gene similarity networks provide new tools for understanding eukaryote origins and evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110(17): E1594-603. [pdf]