Study Functional Constraint Regions for Crop Improvement

Understanding the functional contribution of non-coding regions is a challenge for plant genomics. Many non-coding regions have regulatory function due to SV, promoter, enhancer, conserved non-coding sequence et al. Identify these functional constraint regions in the genome would help plant breeding to priority GWAS hits and improving the prediction accuracy of genomic selection model by exploiting biological prior. During my Ph.D., I identified conserved intron retention events across grass species, and subsets of these conserved intron retention events even have conservation across introns suggesting these introns are under functional constraint. In future, I am plan to focus on identifying the functional constraint regions in the genome and investigate their interaction between plant breeding, climate change, genome function, and natural selection.