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Conflict and Coevolution in a Plastid-Nuclear Enzyme Complex

Although genes within living organisms generally interact in mutually beneficial ways, opportunities also exist for “selfish” conflict between genes, when some genes direct their own survival, possibly to the exclusion of other genes. This project will investigate the possibility that such “warfare” between genes in the nuclear DNA and genes in the separate plastid (chloroplast) DNA is responsible for very fast evolutionary changes in protein sequences that have been observed in many groups of flowering plants. The research activities will provide training opportunities for student and postdoctoral researchers in advanced techniques in biotechnology and computational genomics. This research and training will be integrated with educational workshops that will expose early-stage undergraduates to career opportunities in the field of bioinformatics. Students will also help organize workshops in Mexico; these international service-learning experiences will be designed with the goal of boosting recruitment and retention at the US universities of underrepresented minority groups in technical and quantitative disciplines. The CSU STEM Center serves as the evaluators for this project.

Status: Current

PI: Daniel Sloan

PI Institution: Colorado State University

Source of Funding: NSF

Funding Program: Genetic Mechanisms

Award Amount: $675,926

Start Date: 07/15/2017

End Date: 06/30/2021

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