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University is a place where researchers have the freedom to discover new knowledge and to innovate. Hence, in line with this, academicians and researchers are the pillar of strength of our foundation in the University of Malaya (UM).


Molecular Phylogenetics and Systematics


The study focus on organisms of agriculture and public health importance and species with unique/specific features (e.g. parasites, generalists and specialists). It aims to provide answers to the systematic status of species complexes (occurrence of cryptic/sibling species), phylogenetic relationships, phylogeography, phylogenomics, and genetic markers for diseases. The main approach will be DNA sequencing and genome analysis.

Objectives :
  1. Phylogenetics, phylogeography and systematics of parasites of public health im-portance – e.g. Angiostrongylus spp. and Anisakis spp. Focus will be on molecular dif-ferentiation using DNA sequences and immunodiagnosis. The genome of Angiostrongylus spp will be attempted.
  2. Phylogenetics, systematics, phylogeography and biodiversity of arthropods – or-ganisms include tephritid fruit flies (of agiculture importance), odonates (beneficial in-sects), stingless bees (beneficial insects), spiders (beneficial animals) and other groups with unique life history. Phylogenomics of selected animals with unique features will be studied.
  3. Phylogenetics, phylogeography and systematics of vertebrates – focus will be on amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
  4. Genotyping of diseases – e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, angiostrongyliasis and anisakiasis
  5. Phylogenomics – flagship organisms with unique features

The methodology used is DNA sequences of selected genes will be analyzed to determine phylogenetic relationships, genetic diversity and systematics (occurrence of cryptic/sibling species, taxonomic identification, etc). For certain groups, organisms from various geographical areas (e.g. Wallacea, Indochina) will be used also for biogeography/phylogeography analysis. A draft Genome will be generated for flagship organism using sequence-by-synthesis approach (PacBio and Illumina sequencers).


Figure: Mating pair of Ceriagrion Chaoi


Principal Investigator : Emeritus Professor Dr. Yong Hoi Sen
Co-Principal Investigators : Dr. Lim Phaik Eem

For more information on the research, Please contact: ASSOCIATE PROF. DR. STEFANIE SHAMILA PILLAI
Last Update: July 21, 2014