When DNA doubles up: Exploring the role of DNA duplications in evolution

Wednesday 4 October 2023, 4:30 pm
PhD student
D. Martinez Elurbe MSc.
prof. dr. M.A. Huijnen, prof. dr. G.J.C. Veenstra

Genomic duplications are a type of mutation where genetic material is doubled within the genome of an organism, and they can be classified depending on their size and their original function. Despite the fact that the outcome of these events is generally detrimental to the host organism, and that different mechanisms exist to prevent them from happening, many evolutionary breakthroughs like flowering plants, seedless fruits and segmented body plans have originated from them. However, that does not mean that there are inherently good or bad duplications but a myriad of factors will ultimately determine their fate. This research puts genomic duplications into perspective and uncovers valuable insights that help understand the context and the consequences of their occurrence.

Dei M. Elurbe (1986) studied Biology and obtained his Master’s degree in Bioinformatics for the Health Sciences at the Pompeu Fabra University while working as a research assistant and bioinformatician at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. In 2014 he joined the Comparative Genomics group at Radboud university medical center where he worked on his PhD research alongside projects in developmental biology and pertussis vaccination.