Biologist Cárdenas Ramírez Glenda Gabriela

74900 €

Revealing the mitochondrial genome structure of the major fern lineages through de novo assembly and phylogenetics

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kaksivuotinen

Genomes contain all the biological information needed to build and maintain living organisms. In plants, DNA is found in three genomes: plastid genome (plastome), mitochondrial genome (mitogenome), and nuclear genome. The study of the genome structure brings light on how genomes function and how they have evolved in different plant groups. Understanding the processes and mechanisms behind plant evolution is particularly important because that information can be used to predict how plants may respond to changes in climate and environmental conditions. In order to explore into the genome structure it is necessary to assembly the complete genome. The generation of complete fern genomes has been hampered for long time by their large size and complex structure, but in the last decade the number of generated genomes has increased thanks to the use of Next Generation Sequencing techniques (NGS). NGS has made possible to produce around 222 complete fern plastomes, two mitogenomes and two nuclear genomes. However, these numbers are still surprisingly low when compared to the number of complete plastomes of flowering plants published, around 6000. I recognize the importance of increasing the knowledge of the fern genome. Consequently, in this project, I will use NGS and other bioinformatic techniques 1) to generate six new complete fern mitochondrial genomes and 2) to infer the fern phylogeny based on mitochondrial DNA data. Additionally, I will 3) disseminate the results of my project as well as the importance of basic science to students of Finnish high schools.