Ben J. Woodcroft

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Sponges are an ancient group of animals that diverged from other metazoans over 600 million years ago. Here we present the draft genome sequence of Amphimedon queenslandica, a demosponge from the Great Barrier Reef, and show that it is remarkably similar to other animal genomes in content, structure and organization. Comparative analysis enabled by the(More)
In bilaterian animals, such as humans, flies and worms, hundreds of microRNAs (miRNAs), some conserved throughout bilaterian evolution, collectively regulate a substantial fraction of the transcriptome. In addition to miRNAs, other bilaterian small RNAs, known as Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), protect the genome from transposons. Here we identify small(More)
The capacity to biomineralize is closely linked to the rapid expansion of animal life during the early Cambrian, with many skeletonized phyla first appearing in the fossil record at this time. The appearance of disparate molluscan forms during this period leaves open the possibility that shells evolved independently and in parallel in at least some groups.(More)
Metagenomic binning methods that leverage differential population abundances in microbial communities (differential coverage) are emerging as a complementary approach to conventional composition-based binning. Here we introduce GroopM, an automated binning tool that primarily uses differential coverage to obtain high fidelity population genomes from related(More)
Larval settlement is a vital transition period for marine invertebrates and can have far-reaching effects on the ecology and evolution of a species. To explore the molecular mechanisms of this critical process in a nonmodel organism, the abalone Haliotis asinina, we employed cDNA microarrays. By comparing gene expression profiles through mid- to late larval(More)
The post-genomic era of malaria research provided unprecedented insights into the biology of Plasmodium parasites. Due to the large evolutionary distance to model eukaryotes, however, we lack a profound understanding of many processes in Plasmodium biology. One example is the cell nucleus, which controls the parasite genome in a development- and cell(More)
28 The dramatic drop in DNA sequencing costs has created many opportunities for novel biological research. These 29 opportunities largely rest upon the ability to effectively compare newly obtained and previously known sequences. 30 This is commonly done with BLAST, yet using BLAST directly on new datasets requires substantial technical skills or 31 helpful(More)
Thawing permafrost promotes microbial degradation of cryo-sequestered and new carbon leading to the biogenic production of methane, creating a positive feedback to climate change. Here we determine microbial community composition along a permafrost thaw gradient in northern Sweden. Partially thawed sites were frequently dominated by a single archaeal(More)
The need for new antimalarials is persistent due to the emergence of drug resistant parasites. Here we aim to identify new drug targets in Plasmodium falciparum by phylogenomics among the Plasmodium spp. and comparative genomics to Homo sapiens. The proposed target discovery pipeline is largely independent of experimental data and based on the assumption(More)
A huge discrepancy in morphological diversity exists between poriferans and eumetazoans. The disparate evolutionary outcomes of these two ancient metazoan lineages may be reflected in the composition, architecture, and regulation of genomes of modern representatives. As a case study, we compare the sizes of upstream intergenic regions of genes found within(More)