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Parul Johri


B.Sc. Mathematics (2006-2009), St. Stephen's College, Delhi

M.S. Biology (2009-2012), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

Broad Research Interests: Population genetics, genome evolution, molecular evolution.

Specific Research Interests:

  • Factors that shape patterns of genetic variation across the genome, like mutation, recombination, selection, and drift.
  • Duplicate gene evolution: mechanisms of duplicate gain and loss and factors that impact their long-term retention.
  • Evolution of spliceosomal introns: rates of gain and loss of introns at the level of populations and among very closely-related species.

Project Description:

Currently my research involves understanding factors that shape sequence variation across the compact macronuclear genomes of five Paramecium species, via population genomics. This is interesting for two reasons- (1) Paramecium genomes are extremely compact with very small intergenic regions and introns; (2) Paramecium aurelias, the main system of our study, is a complex of ~15 morphologically indistinguishable species that diverged rapidly post two rounds of whole-genome duplications (WGDs) and still retain ~50% of the duplicate copies from the most recent WGD. Our population-genomic analyses, shed light on how the short intergenic regions are tightly constrained by the presence of regulatory modules. We are now using comparative population genomics of species of Paramecium with and without whole-genome duplications to study the population dynamics of gene duplicates and elucidate the evolutionary forces acting on them.



Parul Johri, Sascha Krenek, Georgi, K. Marinov, Thomas G. Doak, Thomas U. Berendonk, Michael Lynch. Population genomics of Paramecium species. Mol Biol Evol, 2017. msx074. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msx074

Matthew S Ackerman, Parul Johri, Ken Spitze, Sen Xu, Thomas Doak, Kimberly Young and Michael Lynch. Estimating seven coefficients of pairwise relatedness using population genomic data. (Accepted at Genetics)

McGrath, C. L., Gout, J. F., Johri, P., Doak, T. G. & Lynch, M. Differential retention and divergent resolution of duplicate genes following whole-genome duplication. Genome research 24, 1665-1675 (2014).