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Evolutionary genetics of transcription factor binding in closely related mammals

Final Report Summary - EVOGENETICSTFBINDING (Evolutionary genetics of transcription factor binding in closely related mammals)

This ERC Consolidator award has supported a long-term, coherent programme investigating how genetic evolution shapes transcription factor binding, chromatin, transcript isoform, and gene expression evolution across closely related species, and how different types of regulatory control interplay to generate a stable cellular phenotype. Our results relied both on using carefully selected mice of different evolutionary distances, as well as on the extensive use of what are known as reciprocal cross mice, where two strains are mated male to female versus female to male. Such an approach unlocked our ability to determine what influences were happening close to genes, as opposed to those that may be acting at a distance. We were able to compare how genome evolution occurs across murine species, and have a quantitatively relevant comparison with the evolution occurring among primate genomes. Unexpectedly, we revealed how different closely related species genomes are differing in their susceptibility to genome mutation. Our collaborative work resulting from this award included novel approaches to genome assembly, and an understanding of how three dimensional structures evolve amongst mammals.