Category Archives: Person

Keven Dooley

I am a student in the Committee on Microbiology who joined Joy’s lab in the fall of 2018. I am interested in interspecific interactions in bacterial communities; more specifically, how properties describing the interaction networks of a community might affect the emergent properties of the community (e.g., stability, structure, or diversity). I am currently developing model bacterial communities with which I will investigate this topic.

Peter Laurin

I am a Biological Sciences major in the college, planning on studying ecology and evolution. My primary interest is how co-infection affects pathogen performance, and the genetic architecture that underlies these traits. To this end, I am assisting in the Genomics of Pathogen-Pathogen Interactions During Co-infection project, specifically in the development of high-throughput phenotype scoring using luciferase and other methods. After elucidating candidate alleles through GWAS, I will study the molecular evolution of co-infection in our phenotypically diverse set of pathogens using a mix of computational and experimental methods.

Recent publication: Unique features of the m6A methylome in Arabidopsis thaliana

(a) Accumulation of m6A-IP reads along transcripts. Each transcript is divided into three parts: 5′ UTRs, CDs and 3′ UTRs. (b) The ​m6A peak distribution within different gene contexts. Left panel: total genes with ​m6A peaks; right panel: genes conserved in human and Arabidopsis.
(a) Accumulation of m6A-IP reads along transcripts. Each transcript is divided into three parts: 5′ UTRs, CDs and 3′ UTRs. (b) The ​m6A peak distribution within different gene contexts. Left panel: total genes with ​m6A peaks; right panel: genes conserved in human and Arabidopsis.

Graduate student Alice MacQueen investigated the transcriptome-wide patterns of mRNA editing in a collaboration with the group of Chuan He at the Department of Chemistry and Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at the University of Chicago. m6A mRNA editing is essential for plant development, but the role this editing mark plays in the cell is still unknown. The research team found that m6A editing in plants is distinct from editing in yeast and mammals, enriched not only around the stop codon and within 3′-untranslated regions, but also around the start codon .
Deposition of this editing mark around the start codon was associated with chloroplast-specific genes and increased mRNA abundance, which suggests a regulatory role for m6A editing in plants distinct from other eukaryotes described to date.

Luo, Guan-Zheng, Alice MacQueen, Guanqun Zheng, Hongchao Duan, Louis C. Dore, Zhike Lu, Jun Liu, et al. 2014. “Unique Features of the M6A Methylome in Arabidopsis Thaliana.” Nature Communications 5 (November). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6630. Cite