Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Birchler, James A.
Location University of Missouri-Columbia
Primary Field Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
Secondary Field Genetics
 Research Interests
The Birchler laboratory has made experimental and theoretical contributions to an understanding of the effects of genomic imbalance using maize and Drosophila as model organisms. These studies have provided insight into various aspects of gene expression, quantitative traits, dosage compensation, aneuploid syndromes and the differential evolutionary fate of gene duplication via whole genome versus copy number variation. The laboratory has developed techniques to distinguish all chromosomes in somatic karyotypes in plants and to visualize single genes, individual transposons and transgenes on chromosomes and has applied these techniques in a variety of studies. Contributions have also been made to an understanding of the structure of plant centromeres and their epigenetic aspects of function. The laboratory has discovered the first cases of cosuppression of transgenes in animals and has demonstrated an involvement of small RNAs and chromatin modifications in the silencing process. The nature of hybrid vigor in polyploidy plants has been examined. Our laboratory has developed the first method to produce artificial chromosome platforms in plants and has been exploring procedures for their further manipulation.

 
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