We aim to understand how genetic interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear DNAs shape populations.
mitochondria and mitonuclear interactions
Mitochondria, the organelles that produce energy and maintain cellular homeostasis, are central to eukaryotic life. Mitochondrial functions are controlled though a variety of coordinated interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. We seek to understand how genetic variation in these genomes alters mitonuclear interactions, and the consequences of natural selection on those interactions.
think big, work small
Complex traits are best studied in simple systems.
Saccharomcyes yeasts are amazing models for mitochondrial research. They respire. They ferment. These yeasts can survive without a mitochondrial genome. They can grow as haploids or as diploids. They allow for genetic manipulation of both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. They have small, easy to sequence, genomes. They make beer, wine and bread, and don't take up much room in a freezer. They have built a rich research community that shares resources and information to propel science forward. What's not to love?