Evolutionary Factors Shaping Haplotype and Nucleotide Diversity in Humans and Malaria

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Title: Evolutionary Factors Shaping Haplotype and Nucleotide Diversity in Humans and Malaria
Author: McGee, Kate
Advisors: Jeff Thorne, PhD, Committee Member
Trudy Mackay, PhD, Committee Co-Chair
Eric Stone, PhD, Committee Member
Philip Awadalla, PhD, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: Cheaper and more rapid DNA sequencing has led to the accumulation of large amounts of genetic data and has fueled the development of new methods to analyze this data. Using population genetics theory and computational methods we can explore the evolutionary forces that shape genetic variation within and among populations of humans and malaria parasites. Demographic events such as population size change influence current patterns of genetic variation. Accounting for the demographic history of a population is critical in the interpretation of population genetic analyses, particularly in detecting of regions under selection and in making inferences about linkage disequilibrium. Characterizing how recombination rates evolve is critical for the efficient design of association studies and, in turn, the understanding of the genetics behind complex phenotypes. In malaria parasites, recombination is a key element in the creation of a wide array of antigens, which help invade host cells. We examine patterns of genetic variation in humans and malaria and explore how demographic history and recombination rates affect these patterns.
Date: 2008-05-08
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Bioinformatics
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5281

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