The Comai Lab is in the Department of Plant Biology and the UC Davis Genome Center. We study how hybridization, chromosome number and type affect gene regulation, development and genome evolution. Our model systems are Arabidopsis thaliana, rice, poplar and tomato. With collaborators, we are continuing the work of our colleague Simon Chan investigating the role of Centromeric Histone 3 in centromere function. We are developing improved methods for TILLING to efficiently discover mutations in plant genes.
Click on the research links below to find out more.
Recently published or in press
|In the January 2014 issue of the Plant Cell, Isabelle Henry and colleagues describe BOY_NAMED_SUE, a genetic locus required for regular meiosis in the allopolyploid Arabidopsis suecica. Isabelle used Illumina sequencing to identify genomic changes consistent with intragenomic recombination. These changes are only found in synthetic A. suecica.|
|In the June issue of the Plant Cell Diana Burkart-Waco and colleagues examine the early transcriptomic consequences of interspecific crosses between Arabidopsis thaliana and Arabidopsis arenosa, finding that the incompatibility response includes disruption of endosperm development and activation of defense pathways, but, surprisingly, no identifiable role for widespread transposon activation.|
|Helen Tsai and colleagues demonstrate that treating Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 autotetraploid with EMS results in high density mutations. A 500-individual population allows searches of KOs with an efficiency comparable to that of very large tagging populations. The paper can be accessed freely in Plant Physiology. A copy of CAMBa2.0 can be downloaded here.|
|Jennifer Monson-Miller et al. describe the Comai lab method for reduced complexity sequencing, called RESCAN. In collaboration with the Tai lab they demonstrate its use for mutation discovery in rice (BMC Genomics 2012, 13:72 link to journal). In collaboration with the Maloof and Chan labs the method was used for ultradense mapping of RIL lines made by dihaploid induction Seymour et al., PNAS.|
|Why do certain plant varieties hybridize more easily with other species than others? Diana Burkart-Waco, Caroline Josefsson, et al. describe the mapping of quantitative trait loci determining the differential response to interspecific hybridization in Arabidopsis thaliana. The work, revealing a network of interacting loci, can be accessed freely in Plant Physiology.|
Video tutorials on analysis of high throughput sequence data and on multiplexing
|We offer instructional video tutorials on manipulating and analyzing datasets from next-generation sequencing, as well as on sample multiplexing. The target audience is biologists who might use these techniques but would like to perform some of the analysis themselves.|
Our research is funded by the Department of Energy grant 201118510 (Creation of High-Precision Characterization of Novel Poplar Biomass Germplasm) and by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF3068 (Chan research). Recent previous support was from National Science Foundation Plant Genome grant DBI-0733857 (Functional Genomics of Polyploids), NSF Plant Genome award DBI-0822383, (TRPGR: Efficient identification of induced mutations in crop species by ultra-high-throughput DNA sequencing), and National Institutes of Health R01 GM076103-01A1 (Dosage dependent regulation in hybridization) to LC.