Evolutionary dynamics of genome architecture
Behringer, Megan Grace
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With sequencing technology becoming more advanced and widely available, so has the ability to describe the forces and processes shaping genome architecture. Spontaneous mutations such as nucleotide substitutions, indels, duplications, large-scale insertions and deletions, inversions, and translocations provide the input that is then acted on by adaptive (natural selection) and non-adaptive (recombination, random genetic drift) processes to create the genetic variation within and among species. Through this dissertation, I use a combination of experimental evolution and comparative genomics to examine these four forces and how they act to create and maintain the genome. First, through two mutation accumulation experiments, I investigate the rates, biases and spectra of mutation and recombination in the absence of selection. Lastly, I discuss the effect of genome wide selection on premature termination codons in introns across seven model organisms.