Investigation of the evolutionary origin of mitochondria by BLAST analysis

Project Details

Project Lead
Katherine Holcomb 
Project Manager
Katherine Holcomb 
Institution
University of Virginia, UVACSE  
Discipline
Biology (603) 

Abstract

This project is investigating the evolutionary origin of mitochondria. Previous research suggests that mitochondria were once closely related to alpha-proteobacteria. However, when mitochondria were taken into eukaryotic cells as endosymbionts, many mitochondrial genes were transferred to the nuclear DNA. A BLAST analysis will be performed to compare the human genome to a database of about 800 bacterial genomes. Close matches between the human genome and alpha-proteobacteria are of great interest. Close matches will later be used to generate a multiple sequence alignment and a phylogenetic tree depicting the evolutionary relationships between bacteria and mitochondria.

Intellectual Merit

Gene sequencing and comparison.

Broader Impacts

Data will later be used to generate a multiple sequence alignment and a phylogenetic tree depicting the evolutionary relationships between bacteria and mitochondria.

Scale of Use

Multiple runs of 200 jobs each, taking 2-4 hours.