UCL Division of Biosciences


The genomic and phenotypic diversity of Schizosaccharomyces pombe

S. pombe

The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is one of the principal models for eukaryotic molecular and cellular biology, but very little has been known about its evolutionary or cultural history.

Working with Daniel Jeffares in Jürg Bähler's group, we contributed to a global collection of all known natural isolates, published recently in Nature Genetics (link to article). One of the outstanding results, discovered by Adrien Rieux, was that the dispersal of this model species occurred within human antiquity, beginning about 340 BCE. Furthermore, the movement of S. pombe to the America's was dated to 1623 CE, coincident with European colonialism (which began in 1492 CE). The work also described diversity with respect to selection in the genome, and first genome-wide association studies for a large variety of quantitative phenotypes.

More information is available here: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/gee-research/2015/02/17/fermentation-key-yeast-diversification/