20002020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Are synonymous mutations under selection and if so why?  Are genomes randomly arranged assemblages of genes or is gene order non-random? Why are most genes apparently “redundant”?  My research approaches these and related questions employing mathematical, bioinformatical, systems biological and experimental tools.

Two classes of problem stand out. On the one hand there are features of genetic systems that appear counter-intuitive.  Why, for example, do many single celled organisms have just two mating types and inherit their organelles from just one parent, even when both gametes are the same size? On the other hand I wish to understand whether genes, genomes and genetic systems are shaped by selection (and if so why) or whether they are neutrally evolving traits. I have shown, for example, how the genetic code is well structured to minimize the effects of mistranslation. More recently I have been concerned with the evolution of isochores, of redundancy, of gene content, of selection on synonymous mutations (and codon usage bias) and gene order evolution. A decade ago it was considered that in mammals both gene order and synonymous mutations were neutrally evolving. The research of my group has been important in overturning these positions.  Gene order evolution and mechanisms for selection on synonymous mutations are the focus of much of our current work.

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Projects

  • Global Chairs 2015-2016

    Hurst, L. & Purugganan, M.

    1/06/1731/07/17

    Project: Research-related funding

  • Research Output

    Open Access

    Codon Usage and Splicing Jointly Influence mRNA Localization

    Hurst, L., 22 Apr 2020, In : Cell Systems. 10, 4, p. 351-362

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access

    A century of bias in genetics and evolution

    Hurst, L., 12 Jun 2019, In : Heredity. 123, 1, p. 33-43 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
    File
    32 Downloads (Pure)

    Conditional expression explains molecular evolution of social genes in a microbe

    de Oliveira, J. L., Morales, A. C., Stewart, B., Gruenheit, N., Engelmoer, J., Brown, S. B., de Brito, R. A., Hurst, L. D., Urrutia, A. O., Thompson, C. R. L. & Wolf, J. B., 23 Jul 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 1, p. 1-12 12 p., 3284.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Thesis

    Assessing selective processes acting on allele frequencies, genomic organisation, gene expression profiles in eukaryotic genomes

    Author: Wang, W., 10 May 2015

    Supervisor: Urrutia, A. (Supervisor) & Hurst, L. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Comparative and functional analysis of alternative splicing in eukaryotic genomes

    Author: Chen, L., 23 Mar 2012

    Supervisor: Urrutia, A. (Supervisor) & Hurst, L. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Conflict and the Evolution of Genetic Systems

    Author: Randerson, J., 1 Dec 2001

    Supervisor: Hurst, L. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Developing Arabidopsis thaliana as a model for use in conservation genetics

    Author: Priest, A., 1 Sep 2014

    Supervisor: Kover, P. (Supervisor) & Hurst, L. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Development and evaluation of resources for teaching evolution in primary schools

    Author: Buchan, L., 29 May 2019

    Supervisor: Martin, S. (Supervisor), Hejmadi, M. (Supervisor) & Hurst, L. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File