First author Mahul Chakraborty looks through several specimens of fruit flies to identify new phenotypes. Credit: UCI
Dec. 22, 2017 (Phys.org) -- Identifying complex mutations in the structure of an organism's genome has been difficult. Now researchers are applying new methods of genome analysis to identify these complex mutations with unprecedented resolution.
Their approach identifies extensive genetic variation in the fruit fly genome that has previously escaped discovery.
A new study published online in Nature Genetics brings researchers closer to understanding how complex mutations in genomes drive disease and evolution. The research team was led by J.J. Emerson, assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology at the Ayala School of Biological Sciences.
"For the first time in animals, we have assembled a high-quality genome, permitting the discovery of all the genetic differences between two individuals within a species," said Mahul Chakraborty, a postdoctoral scholar in the Emerson laboratory and first author on the study. "We uncovered a vast amount of hidden genetic variation during our analyses, much of which affects important traits within the common fruit fly, D. melanogaster."