Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Biology



First Advisor

Sen Xu


We know very little about the determining genetic factors that control the recombination events within a genome. Moreover, the cause of recombination rate variation in population-level remains poorly understood, especially in non-mammalian species. The scarcity of population-level recombination rate data makes pinpointing genetic loci responsible for recombination rate variation even more challenging. Due to a lack of population-level recombination data, this hypothesis remains untested mainly in natural systems, like Daphnia. In response to the limitation of genetic tools used to dissect the genetic determinant of a trait in Daphnia, we put an effort to address these shortcomings in the Daphnia research. We started the exploration by first showing strong support for the adaptive divergence of meiotic recombination rate between two incipient sister species of Daphnia, D. pulicaria and D. pulex. Then, we explored optimizing two genetic tools that are crucial in population genetics. First, we fine-tuned and meticulously established a technique to develop an efficient biallelic and heritable gene-editing technique in D. pulex using CRISPR-Cas9. Further, we implemented different modifications to explore developing an inexpensive multiplexing protocol by re-engineering the whole genome amplification method before multiplex library preparation.


Daphnia, Recombination rate variation, CRISPR/Cas9, Gene-editing, Whole Genome Amplification, Indexed WGA


Biology | Life Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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