Our plant virus experimental evolution study is up and running. George Kennedy’s group has been helping us passage Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) between alternate plant hosts to better understand the evolutionary genetics of host range expansions and emergence on novel hosts. Luckily for us, these field collected TSWV isolates are doing a pretty good job of decimating their experimental Emilia and Datura hosts, and we’re looking forward to deep sequencing these viral populations.
We’ve also been having fun sequencing plant viruses on our MinION. Postdocs Casey Ruark-Seward and Alma Laney (Rotenberg lab) have been experimenting with protocols for sequencing full length amplicons of viral genomes that have been producing beautiful results so far.