department of human genetics
evolutionary genetics & cell biology
While experiments based on phylogenetic reconstructions, provide a powerful means of retrospectively studying host-pathogen interactions, experimental evolution offers a prospective view of virus evolution where potential adaptations can be monitored in real-time. Recent advances in deep sequencing coupled with recombinant tools make it possible to quickly determine the genetic basis of a variety of adaptations. We are using experimental evolution to address open questions related to virus evolution, such as mechanisms of rapid evolution and the trade-offs between host range and virulence.
Schematic of a protocol for experimental evolution