Advancement: Ctenophore phased diploid genome assembly and halocyprid ostracod bioluminescence

Speaker Name: 
Darrin Schultz
Speaker Title: 
PhD Student
Speaker Organization: 
Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics
Start Time: 
Friday, June 8, 2018 - 11:00am
End Time: 
Friday, June 8, 2018 - 12:00pm
Biomedical Sciences, Room 200
Professor David Haussler and Professor Ed Green

Abstract:  Despite continuously falling DNA sequencing prices, contemporary de novo genome assembly algorithms are unable to produce satisfactory assemblies of many invertebrate species’ genomes. In this talk I will discuss a proposal to improve the genome assembly quality of challenging genomes by simultaneously assembling both parental haplotypes. Primarily, this talk will focus on the proposed novel assembly methods applied to the genomes of four locally-collected comb jelly species. In addition, I will discuss the downstream benefits of ctenophore genomics, including resolving phylogenetic relationships and learning more about the evolution of bioluminescence in the ctenophores. Lastly, I will discuss ongoing efforts to characterize the natural history of bioluminescence in the halocyprid ostracods, as well as proposed work to identify and characterize the halocyprid luciferase enzyme.