Shuaiya Hu

Shuaiya Hu — PhD Student (Nanjing Agricultural University)
Joined the group in 2023

My general interest is the molecular evolution of land plants.
In terms of molecular evolution, I mainly focus on the origin and divergence of land plants. There are three controversial issues with regard to the evolution of land plants. The first is whether bryophytes are paraphyletic or monophyletic, a question that determines the entire framework of land plant evolution. Two other controversial issues are: the relationship between the Gnetopsida and the Coniferopsida in gymnosperms, and the relationship among the five lineages of mesangiosperms have not been uniformly accepted by academia. Tons of factors disturbed acquisition of a real phylogeny. For example, unfitness of molecular models, insufficient sampling, and the complex evolutionary events in plants. On the other hand, many fossil records have been reported, but most of which are uncertain, resulting in a controversial original time of land plants when using these uncertain fossil calibrations. I’m trying to figure out a comprehensive phylogenetic scheme and use fundamental molecular methods to deal with these issues.

The other interest of mine lies in genome evolution, especially WGD events in angiosperms, which is also a key influencing factor in phylogenetic reconstruction. Previous studies suggested the pivotal role of WGD in diversification angiosperms. In my project of a genus of Hibiscus which have various chromosome number with several rounds of polyploidization events in it, as a result, the duplicated genes evolving in different rate, and obtained neo- or sub- function, it is worth noting that the members in Hibiscus lived in various habitats. In the subsequent research, more genome sampling in Hibiscus genus, even in Malvaceae will obtain further understanding on the evolutionary mechanism underlying genome evolution. Besides, in my experience, the molecular evolution and genome evolution tend to have significantly potential relationship with environment, which intrigue my passion on the research of underlying connection between plants evolution and their habitat. Halophyte and mangrove plants being the ideal materials, I will study the convergent molecular evolution, as well as convergent genome evolution in different levels (genome, gene, and amino acid site) within Halophytes.

September 2020 - Present: PhD student, College of Horticulture, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
September 2017 - June 2020: Master student, College of Horticulture, Fujian Agriculture and forestry university
September 2012 - June 2016: Bachelor student in Landscape architecture, School of Forestry, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China


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