Title: Associate Professor
Area of Study: Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Genomics
Office: Howell S202
Address: Department of Biology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
I have broad interests in comparative and evolutionary genomics, bioinformatics, and plant evolution.
Much of my current research focuses on understanding the role of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotic evolution. HGT is the process of genetic changes across the boundaries of species or genomes and has been recognized as an important force in the evolution of life. In prokaryotes, acquisition of foreign genes from other organisms is considered as the major means to gain novel genes and, therefore, to create beneficial phenotypes and abilities to live in previously unexplored niches. However, the importance of HGT in eukaryotic evolution is less clear. We are currently performing genome analyses to identify transferred genes in eukaryotes and to understand the impact of HGT on the evolution of recipient organisms.
Opportunities are also available for students who are interested in other related research areas in the lab.
Selected Recent Publications:
Yue, J., X. Hu, and J. Huang. 2014. Origin of plant auxin biosynthesis.Trends in Plant Science 19:764-770.
Stiller, J. W., J. Schreiber, J. Yue, H. Guo, Q. Ding, and J. Huang. 2014. The evolution of photosynthesis in chromist algae through serial endosymbioses. Nature Communications 5:5764.
Huang, J. 2013. Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes: The weak-link model. BioEssays 35:868-875.
Yue, J., X. Hu, H. Sun, Y. Yang, and J. Huang. 2012. Widespread impact of horizontal gene transfer on plant colonization of land. Nature Communications 3:1152.
Yang, Z. and J. Huang. 2011. De novo origin of new genes with introns in Plasmodium vivax. FEBS Letter 585:641-644.
Sun, G., Z. Yang, T. Kosch, K. Summers, and J. Huang. 2011. Evidence for acquisition of virulence factors in pathogenic chytrids. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:195.
Sun, G., Z. Yang, A. Iswar, and J. Huang. 2010. Algal genes in the closest relatives of animals. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24:587-595.
Huang, J. and J. P. Gogarten. 2008. Concerted gene recruitment in early plant evolution. Genome Biology 9:R109.
Huang, J. and J. P. Gogarten. 2007. Did an ancient chlamydial endosymbiosis facilitate the establishment of primary plastids? Genome Biology 8: R99.
Huang, J. and J. P. Gogarten. 2006. Ancient horizontal gene transfer can benefit phylogenetic reconstruction. Trends in Genetics 22: 361-366.
Evolution of Microbial Pathogens
Taxonomy of Vascular Plants
Evolution of Genes and Genomes
Dongliang Chen, PhD student
Jonathan Caban, MS student