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Binomial model of mating type selection

Research Achievements

Binomial model of mating type selection

When Tetrahymena mate, their progeny select one of seven mating types from a non-uniform distribution. IGERT Trainee Mike Lawson developed a binomial model of mating type selection and optimized it to best fit existing data on mating type distributions. To test model predictions, he sequenced hundreds of conserved regions and developed an automated pipeline of existing software for read assembly (cap3) and sequence comparison (blastn) combined with his own script for locating polymorphisms to analyze the data. The results partially agreed with his model, and the discrepancies led to a hypothesis of gene excision by DNA circle formation. Mike and his collaborators have generated data that has given them novel insight into the recombination mechanism driving mating type determination and resulted in a high profile publication.