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Another DNA walk

A photo of the DNA walk I did with my colleagues at the Leiden Centre for Applied Biosciene Leiden in Octber 2022. A DNA walk is a guided tour, in this case through the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, during which I tell stories about the DNA of the plants and animals that we encounter.

tRNA evolution

Front cover PhD thesis Peter van der Gulik

Transfer RNAs (tRNA) are an integral component of translation in the three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes). In this project, we are searching for domain-specific patterns in the set of tRNAs that are used.

We are also investigating whether these patterns can help assess the completeness of newly assembled genome sequences.


Black Rhinoceros genome

The “Rhinoceromics” project at the Leiden Centre for Applied Bioscience is studying health issues in captive black rhino’s using various omics techniques, including metagenomics. As a sideline, we wanted to see whether we could assemble a large eukaryotic genome using only nanopore reads. This produced an assembly of comparable size and contiguity to the current reference genome for this species. Our assembly will be used as reference assembly in the metagenomics project.

Dré Kampfraath

co-supervised with Jacintha Ellers at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

In his PhD work, Dré is using comparative genomics to study the loss of traits due to interactions between the springtail Folsomia candida and bacteria Wolbachia pipientis. This springtail has become dependent on Wolbachia for its reproduction. Using a combination of lab-experiments and genomics he searches for the phenotypic and genotypic loss of traits that led to this obligate relationship.