Evolution, Genomics, and Symbiosis
Ph.D., Colorado State University (Zoology)
B.A., University of California, Berkeley (Integrative Biology)
I am broadly interested in the genomics and evolution of symbiotic interactions. My research focuses on understanding how population genetic parameters and co-evolutionary interactions between host and intracellular symbionts drive genomic and functional evolution of symbioses. How do high rates of mutation accumulation in endosymbionts and organelles impact host fitness? What are the mechanisms by which hosts compensate for accelerated rates of mutation accumulation? How do different evolutionary processes shape the evolutionary trajectory of symbiotic lineages?
Bennett, G. M. and Chong, R. A. (2017) Genome-wide transcriptional dynamics in the companion bacterial symbionts of the glassy-winged sharpshooter (Cicadellidae: Homalodisca vitripennis) reveal differential gene expression in bacteria occupying multiple host organs. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. doi: 10.1534/g3.117.044255
Chong, R. A. and Moran, N. A. (2016) Intraspecific genetic variation in hosts affects regulation of obligate heritable symbionts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 113(46): 13114-13119
Chong, R. A. and Mueller, R. L. (2013) Low metabolic rates in salamanders are correlated with weak selective constraints on mitochondrial genes. Evolution 67(3): 894-899