The Udall lab is interested in genome evolution and cotton genomics.
The cotton genus (Gossypium
) is an extraordinarily diverse group with approximately 50 species with a range of morphological, reproductive and vegetative characteristics. Approximately 1-2 MYA an African/Asian A-genome and an American D-genome species hybridized and from this single polyploidization event, six polyploid species independently evolved in the americas. Two of these species have been domesticated, one of which (G. hirsutum
) constitutes more than 95% of the worlds current cotton production.
There is still much to be discovered on how genomes change during events like polyploidization and domestication. Not only does our research increase our understanding of genome evolution, but can help us uncover the genetic causes and system-wide effects that underlie phenotypic change. This can be useful in cotton crop production and since many of our domesticated crops are polyploid (e.g., wheat and canola) other species too.
Check out our Structural Genomics
website for our latest research focus on understanding genome evolution in polyploid cotton.