Comparative genomics enables scientists to compare large-scale genetic differences and similarities between different species and between sample members of the same species that differ in function or phenotype. In so doing, we can study gene content variation, gene function and their relationships. We are interested in the patterns that characterize the evolution and function of microbial infections of animals and plants. In particular, how does a symbiotic lifestyle affect abundance of mobile elements and host-interaction genes? How widesread is horizontal gene transfer between different cellular domains of life? Further, we use comparative genomics to invesitgate the evolution and function of bacteriophages in obligate intracellular bacteria.
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Funkhouser-Jones, L.J., S.R. Sehnert, P. Martinez-Rodriguez, R. Toribio-Fernandez, M. Pita, J.L. Bella and S.R. Bordenstein. (2015) Wolbachia co-infection in a hybrid zone: discovery of horizontal gene transfers from two Wolbachia supergroups into an animal genome (open access) PeerJ Link
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