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.