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MSc student

Department

Genetics
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Primary Supervisor
Bernard Slippers

My research focus on the role of horizontal gene transfer in the Sirex noctilio Amylostereum areolatum Deladenus siricidicola symbiosis. During my honours year I explored the usage of different in silico bioinformatics tools to predict horizontally transferred loci in Dsiricidicola. From this work we concluded that a substantial proportion of the genome of D. siricidicola are foreign and are most likely the result of several horizontal gene transfer events. We identified foreign genes to have a variety of different functions and that some genes were involved in the metabolic and immunological adaptations of Dsiricidicola.

For my Masters I will further explore horizontal gene transfer in Dsiricidicola and also the other members of the symbiosis. This research will not only give some insights into answering basic biological questions of the individual organisms but also this unique symbiotic entity.