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Carrie Whittle
Research Associate



Carrie’s research focuses on topics in comparative genomics, molecular evolution and population genetics of eukaryotic model systems. Central themes to her research include the role of male and female tissues in genome sequence evolution, and gene-level changes in young sex chromosomes. Most recently, her studies focused on the evolution of genes located on fungal sex chromosomes in the models Neurospora (Uppsala University) and Microbotryum (Oxford University). Prior to her research in fungi, Carrie was involved in research of male/female genes in hermaphrodite plants, such as Arabidopsis thaliana; the research showed sex-specific differences in mutation rates, selective pressures, and codon usage. Her interests also include topics in transcriptome evolution, epigenetic adaptation to environmental conditions, and evolution of expression in large gene families. In the Extavour lab, Carrie is studying the evolutionary dynamics of genes linked to various reproductive traits in the model Drosophila, as well as other metazoans.


Selected Recent Publications (last six years - see PubMed for full list)

Whittle, CA and Extavour, CG. 2017. Causes and evolutionary consequences of primordial germ cell specification mode in metazoans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (in press)

Whittle CA and Extavour, CG. 2016. Refuting the hypothesis that the acquisition of germ plasm accelerates animal
. Nature Communications 7: 12637

Whittle CA and Extavour, CG. 2016. Expression-linked patterns of codon usage, amino acid frequency and protein length in the basally branching arthropod Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Genome Biology and Evolution 8(9): 2722-36

Whittle, CA and Extavour, CG. 2015. Codon and amino acid usage are shaped by selection across divergent model organisms of the Pancrustacea. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 5(11): 2307-2321

Whittle CA, Votintseva A, Ridout K, Filatov DA. 2015. Recent and massive expansion of the mating-type specific region in the fungus Microbotryum. Genetics 199: 809-16

Sun Y, Whittle CA, Corcoran P, Johannesson H. 2015. Intron evolution in Neurospora: the role of mutational bias and selection. Genome Research 25: 100-10

Whittle CA, Sun Y, Johannesson H. 2014. Dynamics of transcriptome evolution in the model eukaryote Neurospora. J. Evol. Biol. 27: 1125-1135

Whittle CA, Johannesson H. 2013. Evolutionary dynamics of sex-biased genes in a hermaphrodite fungus. Mol. Biol. Evol. 30: 2435-46.

Whittle CA, Johannesson H. 2012. Neurospora as a model to empirically test central hypotheses in eukaryotic genome evolution: Why this fungal genus offers promising opportunities. BioEssays 34: 934-7.

Whittle CA, Sun Y, Johannesson H. 2012. Genome-wide selection on codon usage at the population level in the fungal model organism Neurospora crassa. Mol. Biol. Evol. 29: 1975-86.

Sun Y, Corcoran P, Menkis A, Whittle CA, Anderson S, Johannesson H. 2012. Large-scale introgression shapes the evolution of the filamentous ascomycete Neurospora tetrasperma. PLoS Genet. 8: e1002820.

Whittle CA, Johannesson H. 2011. Evidence of the accumulation of allele-specific non-synonymous substitutions in the young region of recombination suppression within the mating-type chromosomes of Neurospora tetrasperma. Heredity 107: 305-314

Whittle CA, Sun Y, Johannesson H. 2011. Evolution of synonymous codon usage in Neurospora tetrasperma and Neurospora discreta. Genome Biol. Evol. 3: 332-343

Whittle CA, Sun Y, Johannesson H. 2011. Degeneration in codon usage within the region of suppressed recombination in the mating type chromosomes of Neurospora tetrasperma. Eukaryot. Cell 10: 594-603.

Whittle CA, Nygren K, Johannesson H. 2011. Consequences of reproductive mode on genome evolution in fungi. Fungal Genet. Biol. 48: 661-667

Whittle CA. Johannesson H. 2011. Evolution of mating-type loci and mating-type chromosomes in model species of filamentous ascomycetes. In J. Wostemeyer and S.Poeggeler (eds.), The Mycota XIV, Evolution of Fungi and Fungal-like Organisms, Vol. XIV. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg. (Book Chapter)