About the Project
Current Status of the Project
The project will generate DNA sequences of two Dictyostelid social amoebae genomes in order to elucidate the complete genetic makeup these interesting soil microorganisms. The data will be generated by whole-genome shotgun sequencing where small pieces of DNA are sequenced by automated methods and re-assembled using sophisticated computational tools and aided by cross-species comparisons.
Together with the already completed sequence of Dictyostelium discoideum, the first amoeba genome to be sequenced, these additional genomes will provide an essential resource for a variety of comparative and functional studies. First, because these are social species with complex behavior patterns, including cooperation and cheating, the project would provide the first genome-scale comparative dataset for how social genes evolve. For example, the data will enable the first test of the hypothesis that social conflict drives rapid evolution in the same manner as host-parasite interactions. In addition, comparisons among the sequenced species will reveal functional regions of the genomic DNA, such as gene control elements, by virtue of their conservation across species.