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About us

    The Gattaca Laboratory was founded in 2003 by Prof. Dacheng Tian and Prof. Jianqun Chen, growing out of the work of NJU's Molecule Biology and Ecology Group, and building on the seminal work of faculty members in a range of other disciplines, from bioinformatics and computer science.

Academic research project

    A fundamental problem in evolutionary biology is how genetic variation is created and maintained. Our research focuses on this problem, although we are also interested in other issues of evolutionary genomics. The comparative genomics has revealed that there are lots of insertions/deletions (indels) between genomes. Our approach differs from the traditional evolutionary genomics, where the indels (asymmetric DNA segments) are largely neglected. Our integrated approach allows us to derive more testable predictions so that we can study both details and broad perspectives in the evolution of these sequence segments. Our goal is to understand the role that the asymmetric DNA plays in and its evolutionary dynamics.

    Another research focus is to understand the variation pattern and the characteristics of rice R-genes. R-genes are extremely polymorphic; therefore, the evolutionary mechanism maintaining such high level of polymorphism has long been controversial. By comparing sequences between two rice genomes and sequencing R-genes among wild rice and cultivars, we have obtained evidence that such extreme polymorphism is maintained by genetic isolation at the molecular level.

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Nanjing University | Life Sciences