Javier Montalvo Arredondo

postdoc

Javier Montalvo Arredondo

Whole genome duplication (WGD) and posterior divergence is a mechanism that promotes fitness and adaptation of living beings. Several rounds of WGD have been mapped along vertebrate evolution and it is thought that these duplication events had an impact on the divergence and speciation of vertebrates. Efforts have been made to understand the mechanisms of evolution by WGD, however little is known about the early steps of divergence after duplication in vertebrates. The clawed frog Xenopus laevis is a good model to study the divergence between paralogs at early stages because it has recently had a round of WGD (17MYA). Currently, we are addressing three main questions regarding the evolution of X. laevis paralogs: (1) How different are miRNA target site abundance between paralogs? (2) Is the miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation, between paralogs, different? And (3) Did the miRNA regulatory system have an impact on the early evolution and divergence of gene duplicates? In order to deal with those questions, we are using computational methodologies and the database of Xenopus (xenbase.org) that contains extensive data of gene expression, gene annotation, epigenetic information and genome drafts of X. laevis and its close species X. tropicalis.