Joseph Felsenstein is Professor in the Departments of Genome Sciences and Biology and Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Statistics at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is best known for his work on phylogenetic inference, and is the author of Inferring Phylogenies, and principal author and distributor of the package of phylogenetic inference programs called PHYLIP, and is currently serving as the President of the Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution.

You can reach Joe at

James McInerney is the principle investigator of the Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Laboratories at NUI Maynooth. He was one of the founding directors of the Irish Centre for High End Computing, an Associate Editor of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Biology Direct, and Journal of Experimental Zoology, and is currently serving as the Secretary for the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

You can reach James at

Juliette de Meaux is interested in the molecular basis of Darwinian adaptation in natural plant systems. Her works combines the approaches of population, quantitative and molecular genetics to dissect the underpinning of adaptive changes. She completed her PhD at AgroParisTech, under the supervision of Prof. Claire Neema and studied the molecular basis of host-pathogen coevolution in natural populations of common bean. She then spent her Postdoc time in the lab of Prof. Tom Mitchell-Olds at the Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology in Jena and worked on the evolution of cis-regulatory DNA. Since 2005, she runs her own lab, first at the Max Planck Institute of Plant Breeding in Cologne and then at the University of Münster. In January 2015, she relocated her lab at the University of Cologne. She is currently serving as the Treasurer for the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

You can reach Juliette at


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The Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution is an international organization whose goals are to provide facilities for association and communication among molecular evolutionists and to further the goals of molecular evolution, as well as its practitioners and teachers. In order to accomplish these goals, the Society publishes two peer-reviewed journals, Molecular Biology and Evolution and Genome Biology and Evolution. The Society sponsors an annual meeting, as well as smaller satellite meetings or workshop on important, focused, and timely topics. It also confers honors and awards to students and researchers.

SMBE 2017

On behalf of the organising committee it is our pleasure to invite you to attend SMBE 2017 - the annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. SMBE 2017 will be held from the 2nd-6th of July at the JW Marriott in Austin, TX, USA. The meeting - including plenary talks, symposia presentations, the Walter Fitch symposium, and poster sessions - will showcase the latest research in genomics, population genetics, and molecular biology and evolution. Social activities will include an opening reception, mixers with each poster session, and a conference dinner. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Austin this summer!

More information can be found HERE

Featured News and Updates

MBE & GBE Best Graduate Student Papers Announcement

Congratulations to the winners of the Best Graduate Student Paper in MBE and Best Graduate Student Paper in GBE for the year 2015! The winners will be given a certificate, a prize of $2,000 and a travel award to the 2016 annual meeting.

Best Graduate Student Paper in MBE: Emily Claire Baker (first author)
Baker E, Wang B, Bellora N, Peris D, Hulfachor AB, Koshalek JA, Adams M, Libkind D, Hittinger CT (2015) The Genome Sequence of Saccharomyces eubayanus and the Domestication of Lager-Brewing Yeasts. Mol Biol Evol 32:2818-31.

Emily Baker is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She began her graduate studies in 2012 with Dr. Chris Hittinger. Her research focuses on non-model Saccharomyces yeast species, particularly early branching species and their hybrids. She studies the evolution of these groups by looking at divergence at both the genome and individual gene level. Recent research has looked at the genome evolution of industrially important brewing hybrids of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces eubayanus by comparing the genomes of hybrids with pure strains of their parent species.

Best Graduate Student Paper in GBE: Daniel Tamarit & Kirsten Ellegaard (co- first authors)
Tamarit D, Ellegaard KM, Wikander J, Olofsson T, Vásquez A, Andersson SG. (2015) Functionally Structured Genomes in Lactobacillus kunkeei Colonizing the Honey Crop and Food Products of Honeybees and Stingless Bees. Genome Biol Evol 7:1455-73

Daniel Tamarit is a PhD student in Siv Andersson’s lab at Uppsala University. He graduated in biology with honors at the University of Valencia, where he became interested in bacterial evolution while working in the Cavanilles Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity. He then received a Marie Curie ITN Fellowship to participate in the Symbiomics program as an early-stage researcher, under the supervision of Siv Andersson, Lisa Klasson and Amparo Latorre. During his PhD, which he will defend in Autumn 2016, he uses evolutionary genomics to study newly described groups of ant and honeybee symbionts. Findings from these projects led to him engaging in the study of the evolution of a gene transfer agent in alpha proteobacteria, codon usage bias in bacteria with shifting GC content, and genome architecture in firmicutes. In the long term he is interested in studying broad-scale genome evolution, the evolution of host-microbe association, and, more generally, the origin and evolution of new traits.

Kirsten Ellegaard carried out her doctoral research at Uppsala University, Sweden, in the lab of professor Siv Andersson. Her major research interests include speciation processes, evolution and interactions within microbial communities. During her PhD, she studied the obligate bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia, particularly in terms of gene flow, recombination and speciation. Furthermore, since Wolbachia cannot be cultured, she also developed a protocol for isolation and genome sequencing of these bacteria. Towards the end of her PhD, she shifted her research towards comparative genome analyses of lactic acid bacteria colonizing the honeybee gut. Kirsten joined the lab of professor Philipp Engel, at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, in June 2015. Here, she combines bioinformatic tools with laboratory experiments, in order to gain a better understanding of the evolution and function of the bacterial communities colonizing the honeybee gut.

  • Tuesday, May 03, 2016
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MBE | Most Read

Molecular Biology and Evolution












Comparison of Fused and Segregated Globin Gene Clusters












Pan troglodytes (P. t.) troglodytes and P. t. verus.

Command-Line Toolkits for Manipulating Sequences, Alignments, and Phylogenetic Trees



Chaetoceros, Cyclotella, Discostella, or Nitzschia. It has been speculated that serial replacement of diatom-derived chloroplasts by other diatoms has caused this diversity of chloroplasts. Although previous work suggested that the endosymbionts of Nitzschia origin might not be monophyletic, this has not been seriously investigated. To infer the number of replacements of diatom-derived chloroplasts in dinotoms, we analyzed the phylogenetic affinities of 14 species of dinotoms based on the endosymbiotic rbcL gene and SSU rDNA, and the host SSU rDNA. Resultant phylogenetic trees revealed that six species of Nitzschia were taken up by eight marine dinoflagellate species. Our phylogenies also indicate that four separate diatom species belonging to three genera were incorporated into the five freshwater dinotoms. Particular attention was paid to two crucially closely related species, Durinskia capensis and a novel species, D. kwazulunatalensis, because they possess distantly related Nitzschia species. This study clarified that any of a total of at least 11 diatom species in five genera are employed as an endosymbiont by 14 dinotoms, which infers a more frequent replacement of endosymbionts in the world of dinotoms than previously envisaged.




GBE | Most Read

Genome Biology & Evolution

Single-Copy Genes as Molecular Markers for Phylogenomic Studies in Seed Plants


<span class="paragraphSection">Phylogenetic relationships among seed plant taxa, especially within the gymnosperms, remain contested. In contrast to angiosperms, for which several genomic, transcriptomic and phylogenetic resources are available, there are few, if any, molecular markers that allow broad comparisons among gymnosperm species. With few gymnosperm genomes available, recently obtained transcriptomes in gymnosperms are a great addition to identifying single-copy gene families as molecular markers for phylogenomic analysis in seed plants. Taking advantage of an increasing number of available genomes and transcriptomes, we identified single-copy genes in a broad collection of seed plants and used these to infer phylogenetic relationships between major seed plant taxa. This study aims at extending the current phylogenetic toolkit for seed plants, assessing its ability for resolving seed plant phylogeny, and discussing potential factors affecting phylogenetic reconstruction. In total, we identified 3,072 single-copy genes in 31 gymnosperms and 2,156 single-copy genes in 34 angiosperms. All studied seed plants shared 1,469 single-copy genes, which are generally involved in functions like DNA metabolism, cell cycle, and photosynthesis. A selected set of 106 single-copy genes provided good resolution for the seed plant phylogeny except for gnetophytes. Although some of our analyses support a sister relationship between gnetophytes and other gymnosperms, phylogenetic trees from concatenated alignments without 3rd codon positions and amino acid alignments under the CAT + GTR model, support gnetophytes as a sister group to Pinaceae. Our phylogenomic analyses demonstrate that, in general, single-copy genes can uncover both recent and deep divergences of seed plant phylogeny.</span>