Postgraduate Profiles

Haifei Hu

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Thesis: Comparative pangenomics

In this thesis, I aim to conduct a comparative pangenomics study of at least two plant species (Amborella trichopoda and Glycine max). Based on the constructed pangenomes, I will compare the pattern of structural variations including presence/absence variations and singe nucleotide polymorphisms in different plants and identify the relationship between structural variations and evolutionary processes.

Why my research is important

As an increasing number of genome sequences become available for a wide range of species, there is a growing understanding that the genome of a single individual is insufficient to represent the gene diversity within a whole species. Many studies examine the sequence diversity within genes, and this allelic variation is an important source of phenotypic variation which can be selected for by man or nature. However, the significant gene presence/absence variation that has been observed within species and the impact of this variation on traits is only now being studied in detail. The sum of the genes for a species is termed the pangenome, and the determination and characterization of the pangenome is a requirement to understand variation within a species.