Phylogenetic Profiling of Arabidopsis Genes

         Genes whose products interact with each other (e.g. subunits of a protein complex) are often inherited together on an evolutionary time scale.  By determining the presence of each Arabidopsis gene in all completely sequenced genomes, we identify novel protein-protein interactions and assign function to genes with no known role.

Functional Genomics of Maize Centromeres

         Centromeres are critical for chromosome movement during cell division. We are investigating the DNA sequence composition of corn centromeres in order to identify critical elements.  This project is part of a NSF-funded comprehensive effort to study maize centromeres using fluorescent in situ hybridization and immunostaining (see

Papaya BAC End Sequencing

         Papaya is an important crop plant in the State of Hawai`i, yet little is known about its genetic composition.  One particularly interesting aspect of papaya genetics is the presence of a sex chromosome.  Together with Ray Ming’s group at the Hawai`i Agricultural Research Center we are generating and analysing BAC end sequence data from an existing papaya BAC library.

Genomic Barcoding

         Short genome sequences can be used to identify life forms and establish the relationship between them.  We use comparative genomics to identify the sequences best suited for these purposes.