BPP Fall Seminar Series

October 15 | Dr. Ya Yang

Functional phylogenomics of the Caryophyllales: gene and genome duplication, evolution of betalain pigmentations, and beyond

Modern transcriptomic and genomic techniques offer the ability to explore the patterns and drivers of plant diversification at a scale never before possible. Using a dataset of genomes and transcriptomes from over 300 species across the Caryophyllales we found evidence for at least 26 ancient genome duplication events. From this enormous dataset of >15,000 genes per species, we discovered that many gene duplication events were associated with key adaptive trait changes, such as evolution of betalain pigmentation. Our work integrates not only new molecular phylogenomic and computational methods, including several developed for this study, but also field- and collection-based research to connect niche shifts to their genetic and genomic bases.

Dr. Ya Yang

Ya Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at the University of Minnesota. She is also Curator of the University of Minnesota Herbarium. Her expertise research includes phylogenetic analysis, plant systematics, and evolutionary genomics. Her lab has ongoing projects focused on systematics, biogeography, and lineage diversification in various plant groups, such as ​Euphorbia and the Caryophyllales.

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Ya Yang