Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Lynn Ly Rose Hills

Redundancy Post Gene-Duplication in Moss EMF2

Gene duplication is a driving force in evolution – the genetic redundancy created by a gene duplication event can enable one gene copy to rapidly accumulate mutations and take on new functions, while the other copy performs the original function. Previous studies suggest that large-scale genome duplication closely preceded major evolutionary events such as the divergence of vertebrates, but the exact occurrences and evolutionary consequences of gene duplication have yet to be fully understood. The model moss Physcomitrella patens contains three homologs of the gene EMF2, which appear to have been recently duplicated in a lineage specific manner. I will be investigating the functional importance of each of the EMF2 genes by characterizing single and multiple mutant phenotypes and examining EMF2 protein expression patterns throughout development, focusing on spatial and temporal redundancies. Studying these genes will provide insight into how gene duplication in epigenetic regulators can lead to both novel protein function and novel regulation of gene expression, and how these changes impact evolution.

Message To Sponsor

I am immensely grateful to SURF and the Rose Hills Foundation for giving me the opportunity to commit myself full-time to my research for a summer. I intend to dedicate my career to studying plants, and this program will provide me invaluable research experience and new understandings of the field. I would also like to thank my mentor, Stephen Yee, and the rest of the Specht lab, who have been so supportive and inspirational!
Profile image of Lynn Ly
Major: Genetics and Plant Biology
Mentor: Chelsea Specht, Plant and Microbial Biology, Integrative Biology
Sponsor: Rose Hills
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