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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biological Sciences


The goal of my research is to characterize patterns of molecular evolution within protein coding genes in the understudied ciliate clade Heterotrichea. To accomplish this goal, I sequenced three protein coding genes from three representatives of the Heterotrichea. Previous work demonstrates a correlation between the level of somatic, macronuclear genome processing and the level of divergence among copies of protein coding genes. In these studies, which included very few heterotrich ciliates, the most divergent paralogs (duplicated copies of genes) are present in ciliates with extensively fragmented somatic genomes. I tested the hypothesis that proteins in heterotrich ciliates accumulate fewer amino acid substitutions than those in extensively fragmenting ciliates.


118 leaves : col. ill. Thesis (Honors)--Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2008. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 29-31)