As we continue to advance in the age of next generation sequencing, increasing amounts of genome sequence data are becoming available and harkening a new era of evolution research. By interrogating how species' genetic sequences evolved, we can not only continue to broaden our basic science understanding of how organisms' genomes change in response to selective pressures, but we can also gain insights into genomic function. In this course, we will discuss state-of-the-art strategies and tools to conduct evolutionary genomics research, including genome alignment algorithms, phylogeny-building tools, and methods to link genetic elements to phenotypes using patterns of evolution. Through lectures, readings, and activities, students will gain an appreciation for the possibilities in evolutionary genomics research and learn skills to perform basic analyses.
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
- Understand basic sequence alignment strategies
- Use online tools to perform multiple sequence alignment
- Use BLAST online interface to perform sequence similarity searches
- Build phylogenetic trees using online tools
- Compare evolutionary genomics tools to link genetic elements to phenotypes