Daniel A. Pollard

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Comparative analysis of multiple genomes in a phylogenetic framework dramatically improves the precision and sensitivity of evolutionary inference, producing more robust results than single-genome analyses can provide. The genomes of 12 Drosophila species, ten of which are presented here for the first time (sechellia, simulans, yakuba, erecta, ananassae,(More)
Identifying the genomic regions bound by sequence-specific regulatory factors is central both to deciphering the complex DNA cis-regulatory code that controls transcription in metazoans and to determining the range of genes that shape animal morphogenesis. We used whole-genome tiling arrays to map sequences bound in Drosophila melanogaster embryos by the(More)
The phylogenetic relationship of the now fully sequenced species Drosophila erecta and D. yakuba with respect to the D. melanogaster species complex has been a subject of controversy. All three possible groupings of the species have been reported in the past, though recent multi-gene studies suggest that D. erecta and D. yakuba are sister species. Using the(More)
We introduce a method (MONKEY) to identify conserved transcription-factor binding sites in multispecies alignments. MONKEY employs probabilistic models of factor specificity and binding-site evolution, on which basis we compute the likelihood that putative sites are conserved and assign statistical significance to each hit. Using genomes from the genus(More)
Numerous tools have been developed to align genomic sequences. However, their relative performance in specific applications remains poorly characterized. Alignments of protein-coding sequences typically have been benchmarked against "correct" alignments inferred from structural data. For noncoding sequences, where such independent validation is lacking,(More)
The gain and loss of functional transcription factor binding sites has been proposed as a major source of evolutionary change in cis-regulatory DNA and gene expression. We have developed an evolutionary model to study binding-site turnover that uses multiple sequence alignments to assess the evolutionary constraint on individual binding sites, and to map(More)
Phosphoinositide 3-kinases produce 3′-phosphorylated phosphoinositides that act as second messengers to recruit other signalling proteins to the membrane. Pi3ks are activated by many extracellular stimuli and have been implicated in a variety of cellular responses. The Pi3k gene family is complex and the physiological roles of different classes and isoforms(More)
Molecular evolutionary studies of noncoding sequences rely on multiple alignments. Yet how multiple alignment accuracy varies across sequence types, tree topologies, divergences and tools, and further how this variation impacts specific inferences, remains unclear. Here we develop a molecular evolution simulation platform, CisEvolver, with models of(More)
Resolving the genetic complexity of heritable phenotypic variation is fundamental to understanding the mechanisms of evolution and the etiology of human disease. Trait variation among isolates from genetically efficient model organisms offers the opportunity to dissect genetic architectures and identify the molecular mechanisms of causation. Here we present(More)
Recombinant inbred lines (RILs) are a collection of strains that can be used to map quantitative trait loci. Parent strains are crossed to create recombinants that are then inbred to isogenicity, resulting in a permanent resource for trait mapping and analysis. Here I describe the process of designing and constructing RILs. This consists of the following(More)