Latino Studies at New York University

Mingzhi Lin

Doctoral Candidate
Computational Biology Program
Department of Biology
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University

April 30, 2013

Horizontal gene transfer in bacterial populations: modeling, simulation and bioinformatics analysis

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the transfer of genes between different species, is important in the evolution of bacterial and archaeal genomes. It is therefore critical to describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the genetic variation contributed by HGT within natural populations. In this project, we introduce two sequence correlation functions, structure correlation and rate correlation, which can be used to decompose the population structure and substitution rate variance. We showed that, from simulation and bioinformatics analysis, our quantities can detect horizontal gene transfer events. We also obtained the analytical solutions for these two quantities in the Wright-Fisher population model with HGT.