Hossein Madhani (Life Sciences) was awarded a Graduate Student Research Award from the Botanical Society of America for his proposal, The Role of Immune System Incompatibilities in the Evolution of Isolating Barriers within an Ongoing Adaptive Radiation. The $1,500 award will support his study of disease-resistance (R)-gene diversity across an adaptive radiation of Hawaiian trees that show evidence of R-gene incompatibilities in hybrids. He will use available population genomic data for 11 taxa to generate de novo genome assemblies and characterize R genes across the radiation, look for evidence of selection on these genes, and identify genomic regions associated with unfit (i.e., necrotic) phenotypes in select hybrids. This research will increase understanding of R gene evolution and diversity in the context of an ongoing adaptive radiation and will uncover novel insights into selection on disease-resistance genes and the evolution of reproductive barriers. He is a Ph,D. student.
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