Our research focuses on molecular evolution and the evolution of the genome. Specifically we are interested in two topics:

Evolution of organelles and endosybiotic gene transfer
Mitochondria and chloroplasts are descended from free-living bacteria. The endosymbiosis theory explains why organelle genomes are significantly smaller than that of proteobacteria and cyanobacteria. We study endosymbiotic gene transfer, specifically the current transfer of mitochondrial and plastid DNA fragments into eukaryotic nuclear genomes which giving rise to nuclear copies of mitochondrial DNA (numts) and nuclear copies of plastid DNA (nupts).

Evolutionary insights into genome instability
DNA damage response (DDR) is a mutagenic process that leaves signatures in DNA. We are interested in such signatures that occur through evolution and population genetics. Such signatures can teach us about the mutagenic process. Till now we have focused on signatures of non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and on the affect of inverted repeats on genome instability

Prof. Einat Hazkani-Covo