Professor Peter Tiffin

CBS Plant/Microbial Biology
College of Biological Sciences
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Pangenomics of Rhizobial Genomes; Study of Symbiotic Biology; Experimental Population Evolution; Structural Variation in Plants

These researchers are using MSI resources for the following projects:

  • The researchers have recently received sequencing data from ~ 350 Ensifer meliloti and E. medicae strains, in addition to the ~ 200 strains they have previously sequenced. they are collaborating with other labs to assemble genomes and conduct analyses to understand population structure at both global and local population levels, to identify genomic variation involved in local adaptation, to characterize structural variation, and to conduct select-and-resequence experiments.
  • The group has collected extensive pooled bacterial sequencing data from select-and-resequence evolution experiments, which allow them to study the interactions of plants with multi-strain communities of microbes, instead of just one strain at a time. Typically, each experiment results in 50–200 Illumina libraries, and the researchers have conducted four experiments so far. They are planning to conduct a 200 plant genotype select-and-resequence GWAS experiment during 2020.
  • The researchers currently have three ongoing transcriptomics projects:
    • An analysis of both host and symbiont expression patterns from an Ensifer / Medicago experiment, which they intend to combine with the S&R GWAS experiment described above.
    • An investigation of the genomic basis of local adaptation in common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) using population genomic approaches. This project is using a combination of environmental association analyses and transcriptome-wide association analysis.
    • Using cacao transcriptomes to advance basic cacao biology and breeding resources.
  • The researchers are investigating the extent and evolution of structural variation in a few dozen cacao genomes.

This group's research was featured on the MSI website in July 2019: Evaluating Species Distribution Models.

Project Investigators

Mannix Burns
Brendan Epstein
Amanda Gorton
Joseph Guhlin
Tuomas Hamala
Professor Peter Tiffin
Diana Trujillo
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