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Genetic basis of variation in circadian rhythms

Trainee Achievements

Genetic basis of variation in circadian rhythms

Kevin Emerson, who is finishing his dissertation research, is co-advised by Bradshaw and Johnson, has focused on the genetic basis of natural variation in seasonal timing and circadian rhythms, using both mosquitoes and fruit flies as his primary study organisms. Kevin has used modern genomic approaches to address how pitcher plant mosquitoes adapt to local seasonal environments to ‘know’ when to emerge from over wintering. Kevin has created the first gene expression microarray for this species and has used it to identify a unique set of genes that are differentially expressed in response to seasonal light cues. He now hopes to use these results to, for the first time, unravel the genetic basis of seasonal timing in an animal. These results are important for the insights that they provide into the genetics of adaptation, and the increases in understanding of organismal responses to global climate change, which has driven the evolution of seasonal timing in northern latitude populations