Best Poster Award

Best Poster for Postdoctoral Fellows

2016 Paolo Franchini  University of Konstanz, Germany 
  Hilary Martin Sanger Institute, UK
2015 Matthew Hansen University of Pennsylvania, USA
2014  Pontus Skoglund Harvard Medical School, USA
  Clement Chow Cornell University, USA
2013    
2012 Henrik DeFine Licht Lund University, Sweden
Way Sung Indiana University, USA
2011 Christopher Illingworth Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Valer Gotea National Human Genome Research Institute, USA
2010 Grzegorz Kudla University of Edinburgh, UK
2009 Joshua Shapiro University of Chicago, USA
Olivier Fedrigo Duke University, USA
2008 Mathew D. Dean University of Arizona, USA
Wayne Delport University of Cape Town, South Africa
D. Allan Drummond Harvard University, USA
Siobain Duffy The Pennsylvania State University, USA
Felicity Jones Stanford University, USA
Vini Pereira University of Sussex, UK
2007 Jixin Deng University of North Carolina, USA
Yasuhiro Go Harvard University, USA
Sasha Levy New York University, USA
Masafumi Nozawa Pennsylvania State University, USA
Thane Papke Dalhousie University, Canada
Shigeru Saito Iwate University, Japan
2006 Heather Norton University of Arizona, USA
2005 Kate Johnston University College Dublin, Ireland
Scott Roy Harvard University, USA

Best Poster for Graduate Students

2016 Federico Gaiti
University of Queensland, Australia
  Kristina Vanessa Klaus University of Bochum, Germany
  Guangying Wang
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China 
2015  Cong Liang Yale University Systems Biology Institute, USA
  Chuan Li University of Michigan, USA
  Charles Pugh  University of Florida, USA
  Evgeni Frenkel Harvard University, USA
2014  Francesco Nicola Carelli Universite de Lausanne, Switzerland
  Steven Reilly  Yale University, USA 
2013    
2012 Yves Clement Max Planck Institute For Molecular Genetic, Germany
2011 Ryuichi Sugino Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Japan
Ding He Uppsala University, Sweden
2010 Sidi Chen University of Chicago, USA
2009 Daniel Skelly University of Washington, USA
Kerry A. Geiler Harvard University, USA
David Garfield Duke University, USA
2008 David Álvarez-Ponce Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Susan Lott University of Chicago, USA
Julien Roux University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Sarah Schaack Indiana University, USA
Sandra Trindade Instituto Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal
Nicolas Vinckenbosch University of Lausanne, Switzerland
2007 Jennifer Becq Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7, France
Trevor Bedford Harvard University, USA
William Ferguson Queens College, City University of New York, USA
Mira Han Indiana University, USA
June Keay University of Oregon, USA
David Plachetzki University of California Santa Barbara, USA
2006 D. Allan Drummond California Institute of Technology, USA
2005 Katja Nowick Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany

Best Poster for Undergraduate Students

2015     
2014 Gwenna Breton Uppsala University, Sweden
2013    
2012 Katharine Owers Uppsala University, Sweden
2011 Sarah Erb Indiana University, USA
Thomas Weighill Stellenbosch University, South Africa
2010 Jae Young Choi University of Toronto

Best Poster Information

In 2005, the SMBE Council decided to present at each meeting one or more Best Poster Prizes for Postdoctoral Fellows and Graduate Students. In 2010, a Best Poster Prize for undergraduate students was added.

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MBE | Most Read

Molecular Biology and Evolution

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From Chimps to Humans to Cold Sore Cousin Mixing Before Worldwide Spread

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Honing in on Culprit behind Fleece Variation in Domesticated Sheep

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An Expanded History of Life on Earth at Your Fingertips

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Speciation and Genome Evolution in the Symbionts of Hominid Lice

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A Resource for Timelines, Timetrees, and Divergence Times

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A Markov Clustering Approach to Study Population Genetic Structure

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Eight Fast-Evolving Megacircles

2017-03-16

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New Insights from the Evolution of Human Chromosome 2 Ancestral Centromeric Region

2017-03-15

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2017-03-01

the polycystine radiolarian Lithomelissa setosa (Nassellaria) and Sticholonche zanclea (Taxopodida). A phylogenomic approach using 255 genes finds Radiolaria and Foraminifera as separate monophyletic groups (together as Retaria), while Cercozoa is shown to be paraphyletic where Endomyxa is sister to Retaria. Analysis of the genetic components of the cytoskeleton and mapping of the evolution of these on the revised phylogeny of Rhizaria reveal lineage-specific gene duplications and neofunctionalization of α and β tubulin in Retaria, actin in Retaria and Endomyxa, and Arp2/3 complex genes in Chlorarachniophyta. We show how genetic innovations have shaped cytoskeletal structures in Rhizaria, and how single cell transcriptomics can be applied for resolving deep phylogenies and studying gene evolution in uncultured protist species.

GBE | Most Read

Genome Biology & Evolution

Extreme Mitogenomic Variation in Natural Populations of Chaetognaths

2017-06-14

Abstract
The extent of within-species genetic variation across the diversity of animal life is an underexplored problem in ecology and evolution. Although neutral genetic variation should scale positively with population size, mitochondrial diversity levels are believed to show little variation across animal species. Here, we report an unprecedented case of extreme mitochondrial diversity within natural populations of two morphospecies of chaetognaths (arrow worms). We determine that this diversity is composed of deep sympatric mitochondrial lineages, which are in some cases as divergent as human and platypus. Additionally, based on 54 complete mitogenomes, we observed mitochondrial gene order differences between several of these lineages. We examined nuclear divergence patterns (18S, 28S, and an intron) to determine the possible origin of these lineages, but did not find congruent patterns between mitochondrial and nuclear markers. We also show that extreme mitochondrial divergence in chaetognaths is not driven by positive selection. Hence, we propose that the extreme levels of mitochondrial variation could be the result of either a complex scenario of reproductive isolation, or a combination of large population size and accelerated mitochondrial mutation rate. These findings emphasize the importance of characterizing genome-wide levels of nuclear variation in these species and promote chaetognaths as a remarkable model to study mitochondrial evolution.

Unraveling the Population History of Indian Siddis

2017-06-14

Abstract
The Siddis are a unique Indian tribe of African, South Asian, and European ancestry. While previous investigations have traced their ancestral origins to the Bantu populations from subSaharan Africa, the geographic localization of their ancestry has remained elusive. Here, we performed biogeographical analysis to delineate the ancestral origin of the Siddis employing an admixture based algorithm, Geographical Population Structure (GPS). We evaluated the Siddi genomes in reference to five African populations from the 1000 Genomes project, two Bantu groups from the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP) and five South Indian populations. The Geographic Population Structure analysis localized the ancestral Siddis to Botsawana and its present-day northeastern border with Zimbabwe, overlapping with one of the principal areas of secondary Bantu settlement in southeast Africa. Our results further indicated that while the Siddi genomes are significantly diverged from that of the Bantus, they manifested the highest genomic proximity to the North-East Bantus and the Luhyas from Kenya. Our findings resonate with evidences supporting secondary Bantu dispersal routes that progressed southward from the east African Bantu center, in the interlacustrine region and likely brought the ancestral Siddis to settlement sites in south and southeastern Africa from where they were disseminated to India, by the Portuguese. We evaluated our results in the light of existing historical, linguistic and genetic evidences, to glean an improved resolution into the reconstruction of the distinctive population history of the Siddis, and advance our knowledge of the demographic factors that likely contributed to the contemporary Siddi genomes.

The Genomic Impact of Gene Retrocopies: What Have We Learned from Comparative Genomics, Population Genomics, and Transcriptomic Analyses?

2017-06-14

Abstract
Gene duplication is a major driver of organismal evolution. Gene retroposition is a mechanism of gene duplication whereby a gene’s transcript is used as a template to generate retroposed gene copies, or retrocopies. Intriguingly, the formation of retrocopies depends upon the enzymatic machinery encoded by retrotransposable elements, genomic parasites occurring in the majority of eukaryotes. Most retrocopies are depleted of the regulatory regions found upstream of their parental genes; therefore, they were initially considered transcriptionally incompetent gene copies, or retropseudogenes. However, examples of functional retrocopies, or retrogenes, have accumulated since the 1980s. Here, we review what we have learned about retrocopies in animals, plants and other eukaryotic organisms, with a particular emphasis on comparative and population genomic analyses complemented with transcriptomic datasets. In addition, these data have provided information about the dynamics of the different “life cycle” stages of retrocopies (i.e., polymorphic retrocopy number variants, fixed retropseudogenes and retrogenes) and have provided key insights into the retroduplication mechanisms, the patterns and evolutionary forces at work during the fixation process and the biological function of retrogenes. Functional genomic and transcriptomic data have also revealed that many retropseudogenes are transcriptionally active and a biological role has been experimentally determined for many. Finally, we have learned that not only non-long terminal repeat retroelements but also long terminal repeat retroelements play a role in the emergence of retrocopies across eukaryotes. This body of work has shown that mRNA-mediated duplication represents a widespread phenomenon that produces an array of new genes that contribute to organismal diversity and adaptation.