I am postdoc mainly engaged with the Mito-nuclear Group. I am interested in three topics.
1) Genomic and epigenetic footprints on mito-nuclear co-evolution
Using the mitolines with pairwise combinations of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA that currently evolve, we ask whether mitochondrial and nuclear DNA coevolve and consequently, whether they leave footprints of selection in the genome and epigenome they are paired with.
2) Activity of enzymes of the respiratory (electron transfer) chain under mito-nuclear mismatch
Again using the mitolines I am interested to quantify gene expression and quantitative activity of the enzyme of the electron transfer chain (ETC). The ETC is formed of proteins encoded by both the nuclear and the mitochondrial genomes (see figure below). It is therefore, an attractive system to investigate enzyme activity in relation to mito-nuclear interactions.
from Baker & Haynes 2011. Trends Biochem Sci 36: 254-261.
Voigt, S., S. Laurent, M. Litovchenko, and W. Stephan (2015) Positive selection at the polyhomeotic locus led to decreased thermosensitivity of gene expression in temperate Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 200: 591-599
Wilches, R., S. Voigt, P. Duchén, S. Laurent, and W. Stephan (2014) Fine-mapping and selective sweep analysis of QTL for cold tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster. G3-Genes Genomes Genetics 4: 1635-1645