Morphoplex research group
Our research interests cover:
Microbiome diversity and function: We study the diversity of microorganisms in plant roots and gut of animals to understand their functional role. We explore the unknown diversity of free-living enigmatic eukaryotes and unknown diversity of symbionts, resolve the evolutionary relationship between these organisms on various taxonomic level and to understand the processes that shaped this huge and ecologically important diversity.
Developmental evolution in unicellular eukaryotes: The main scientific interest of the research group is to understand the morphology of unicellular eukarytoes (protists). We have recently taken the initiative to strengthen evodevo research at University of Oslo by establishing Centre for Epigenetics, Development and Evolution (CEDE). Morphoplex focuses on understanding the molecular basis of morphological evolution among protists.
Major transition in history of eukaryotes: We are interested to resolve the evolutionary relationship between major lineages of eukaryotes in order to infer the evolution of cell structures, organelles and genomes. Currently we are exploring the possibilities of using techniques for studying uncultivated eukaryote genomes and transcriptomes and relate the diversity of genes and genomes to the evolutionary history of these enigmatic eukaryote lineages and their ecological adaptations.
Regulatory RNA in unicellular eukaryotes: Of particular interest have been to understand the diversity of such regulatory elements among the large diversity of eukaryotes that traditionally have been regarded as non-model organisms, and to reveal the importance of such molecules in the evolution of cell differentiation and multicellularity among animals and fungi.
Development of Bioinformatics and computing resources: We have developed a web-based bioinformatics service named Bioportal, which now are transformed to Lifeportal. In addition, we have developed a number of different computer programs and pipelines for phylogenomics (the AIR and BIR pipelines), BLAST visualization (BLASTGrabber) and analyses of amplicon sequences (CLOTU).