Our lab focuses on evolutionary systems biology of polyploidization that underlies phenotypic evolution and crop domestication in plants. At a broader scale, we will approach classical systems biology questions within an evolutionary framework and to develop innovations for modern plant breeding.

Using the cotton genus Gossypium as a model system, we integrate systems biology approaches and extensive multi-genomics datasets to achieve a mechanistic understanding of the Genotype-to-Phenotype (G-to-P) transitions that accompany speciation and polyploidization. These works have relevance that extends far beyond the confines of the system and phenotypes studied, having fundamental significance to our understanding of human-mediated selection, responses to environmental change, the relevance of polyploidy to adaptation and speciation, and ultimately agricultural breeding applications.

To do so, our lab is focusing on provide insights into the evolution of genome-wide regulatory architecture and system-level network dynamics. Our specific interests (see research page for more details) include:

  • Evolution of genomic and epigenomic architecture in tetraploid cotton species.
  • Dynamics of duplicated gene regulation that underlies cotton seed and fiber development and morphological diversity.
  • Cis-trans interactions and gene regulatory networks underlying abiotic stress responses and environmental adaptation.

If you are interested in any of the above topics, read more about how to join the lab.