Ecology and evolution of nematodes
A comprehensive understanding of life on earth must include the study of parasites
Nematodes originate from the ocean and become the most abundant animals on earth. You can find them everywhere, even in extreme places like Antarctica or desert. Nematodes have three feeding types: free-living, predator, and parasitic. Current research on nematodes is based on the model organism - Caenorhabditis elegans, and parasitic ones, which cause severe diseases on animal health and agricultural productivity. However, how the parasitism of parasitic nematodes evolved from their free-living ancestor is still unclear. We mainly work on plant parasitic nematodes and aim to move towards the study of free-living nematodes.
Hence, in our research, we aim to collect free-living nematodes from the environment and receive their genome or transcriptome data. We will focus on sequencing clade I, clade II, and clade C free-living nematodes, which mainly lived in the aquatic environment and are considered the ancestor of nematodes. By comparing their genome and transcriptome, we aim to discover how nematode parasitism evolve.
Chen-Kuo Lai [PhD candidate @ NTU GSB program]
Yi-Chien Lee [PhD candidate @ TIGP Bioinformatics program]