ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Biology



First Advisor

Matthew Fujita


The continual reduction of the cost of high-throughput sequencing is now making it feasible to sequence large genomic and transcriptomic datasets for non-model organisms. Many of these under study non-model organisms have no available molecular data available. Yet, many of these organisms are of interest for their usefulness in addressing long-standing unanswered questions in the field of evolutionary biology or of conservational concern and need immediate intervention. Now we can quickly generate large datasets for these organisms, and here we generate two large datasets for lizards that are both of in interest in the genus Holbrookia and Aspidoscelis. In chapter 1 we sequence the transcriptome for three lizard species in the genus Holbrookia who are of conservation interest as their populations are in decline. We aimed to generate the needed molecular needed for further conservation studies and identify adaptive loci. In chapter 2 we generated an extensive whole mitochondrial genome dataset for multiple lizards in the genus Aspidoscelis, whose genus contains multiple asexual and sexual reproducing lizards. In this chapter, we examined how the absence of sex influences the mitochondrial genome by comparing the asexual lizards' mitochondrial genomes to their sexual reproducing counterpart. In chapter 3 we begin developing further resources beyond only shot-gun sequencing genomes but develop a protocol to culture fibroblast cells from the tail tissues of lizards successfully. With additional resources beyond shot-gun sequence data, we can better address questions found in chapters 1 and 2.


Genome, Evolution, Mutations, Natural Selection, Squamates, DNA


Biology | Life Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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