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· 1 hour

Sex, Genes and Diplomonads: The Evolution of Sex-related Genes in Hexamita inflata

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 · 4:00 p.m. · Istanbul
About This Webinar

Speaker: Begum Serra Buyuktarakci
Affiliation: Uppsala University

Sexual reproduction is widespread among eukaryotes however it is not very wellknown
outside of the animals, land plants and fungi kingdoms. Metamonada, a phylum of
single-celled eukaryotes, comprises diverse lineages including diplomonads. Some members of diplomonads have been assumed to be asexual, though the presence of putative meiotic genes were reported in recent studies. I applied a comparative phylogenomic approach to clarify the occurrence of sexual life cycle in diplomonads. Here, I surveyed the sets of sex-related genes in the ongoing Hexamita inflata genome project. The inventory of sex-related genes was compiled based on the major sexual processes: cell fusion (plasmogamy), nuclear fusion (karyogamy) and meiosis. My analysis showed that H. inflata encodes karyogamy protein, Gex1 but not the plasmogamy protein, Hap2. Putatively meiosis specific genes: Spo11, Dmc1, Hop2 and Mnd1 were identified in H. inflata genome. Based on my findings, H. inflata possesses Mer3/Hfm1 gene which is required during meiotic crossover formation and postmeiotic
genes (Mlh2/Pms1 and Mad2). I hypothesize that H. inflata is capable of some sex-related processes such as nuclear fusion and meiotic inter-homolog recombination. My results indicate that the sex machinery varies among diplomonads and other Metamonada based on the wide distribution of sex-related genes.

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Sex, Genes and Diplomonads: The Evolution of Sex-related Genes in Hexamita inflata
After I completed BSc at Boğaziçi University, Molecular Biology and Genetics department, I moved to Sweden for MSc and studied Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University. Meanwhile, I got interested in bioinformatics and focused on phylogenetic analysis in the thesis of my master's degree. I am currently working as a research assistant in Molecular Evolution group of Jan Andersson at Biomedical Centre (BMC), Uppsala University.
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