Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Welcome to Zhang's Lab

On the last page of The Origin of Species, Darwin writes that there is grandeur in the view that all of life had a single beginning from which evolved endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful. In the over 150 years that passed, biology has made tremendous progress understanding the pathways and molecular processes behind the diversification of the life forms, and evolution's fundamental genetic mechanisms that Darwin was unaware of became firmly established via the Neodarwinian synthesis in the first half of the 20th century. The second half of the 20th century added all aspects of social evolution to the Neodarwinian synthesis after W.D. Hamilton developed inclusive fitness theory in the 1960s and 1970s. In spite of these major developments we continue to know very little about the fundamental molecular processes that produce adapted phenotypes in response to variation in the physical and social environment of organisms. The next generation sequencing revolution has
demonstrated this very clearly in that we are now generating reference genomes at a higher rate that we can study how these blueprints translate in responses to natural selection, the adaptations arising from these responses, and the ultimate diversification and speciation processes that may or may not follow. We have developed and applied comparative genomic tools on high throughput '-omics' data to address the classical questions of diversification, adaptation and speciation across a broad spectrum of organisms. Our group is also interested in the evolution of eusocial insects and behaviors. We have initiated and participated in many comparative genomic studies in eusocial insects and now are focusing on the functional genomic study to understand how the genetic and epigenetic processes regulate the caste development and the behavioural plasticity in eusocial insects.
Top News

2021/04/28 Our team led and cooperated with Chinese and foreign scientists to analyze and assemble the whole genome data of marmosets, a non-human primate, in a new way for the first time, and found a new model for high-quality genome analysis. The relevant results were published in the well-known academic journal Nature.
2021/02/05 Our new research, a paper presented the genomes of these “ancient fishes”, bichir, American paddlefish, bowfin and alligator gar, focusing on the key transition in vertebrate evolution from water to land, was published in the Cell journal.
2021/01/07 Our new research,the platypus and echidna genome paper, focusing on the the evolution of mammals and the unqiue sex chromosome system in the two species, was published in Nature
2020/11/11 B10K announces the completion of its second milestone—the release of genomes representing 92% of all bird families in Nature on 12th November 2020 as cover story. In this study, researchers reported the genomes of for 363 bird species including 267 new genomes, established a new pipeline to analyze the unprecedented scale of genomic data, and illustrated how these resources give improved resolution on genomic evolution analyses.
2020/10/01 Alivia Lee Price joined the center as technician.
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