Ashley Peery
Graduate Student
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA United States

Areas of Expertise:
Mosquito Cytogenetics, Comparative Genomics

Research Organisms:
Anopheles Mosquitoes


Research Focus:

As I pursue my PhD I am using comparative genomics to investigate evolutionary changes between species of Anopheles mosquitoes. I have created a chromosome based genome assembly for Anopheles stephensi which has allowed characterization of molecular features including genes, transposable elements, simple repeats and scaffold or matrix associated regions within the genome. I am interested in how molecular features within the genome impact the propensity for the genome to change via chromosomal inversions. The 16 genomes project has also allowed me to characterize the molecular features within the mapped genomes of mosquitoes representing ~100 MY of Anopheles evolution. This wealth of data allows a comprehensive look at how genomic content could be influencing genome plasticity.
I am also interested in the transition of chromatin from euchromatin to heterochromatin during evolution of malaria mosquitoes. As part of my PhD work I am comparing the heterochromatin of An. gambiae and An. stephensi with specific interest in the function and structure of genes that remain heterochromatic between the two species as well as genes that have transitioned from heterochromatin to euchromatin during the ~30 MY since their divergence.
Other interests and side projects:
Sex determination in mosquitoes and the possibility of dosage compensation in malaria mosquitoes
Chromosomal mapping of the “sleeping midge” P. vanderplanki
Duplication of insecticide resistant genes