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Sibel kucukyildirim
Post-doctoral Researcher


My research focuses on the general question of how mutations accumulate in genomes. There has been a great deal of theoretical and experimental work (much of it from the Lynch lab) on what the intrinsic mutation rate of organisms is expected to be, and what it actually is. This rate is essentially a result of how often the replicative DNA polymerase makes mistakes, and repair pathways fail to fix these mistakes. A primary determinant is how big the genome is, resulting in organisms with very different sized genomes having the same absolute number of mutations per generation implying that their polymerases must have different error rates per base pair.
While there has been many mutation accumulation (MA) assays done with bacteria and metazoa, very few have been done with single celled eukaryotes. My first emphasis in the Lynch lab has been mutation accumulation experiments in microbial eukaryotes, to broaden the current knowledge on rates and molecular spectra of spontaneous mutations. I have started MA lines of Dictyostelium, Acanthamoeba, Leishmania, and Naegleria.