dr. frederic bertels

Microbial Molecular Evolution Group

Our research group uses bioinformatics, mathematical modelling and laboratory experiments to understand:
(1) the evolution of PhiX174 and
(2) the evolution and function of repetitive sequences in bacterial genomes.

Evolution of PhiX174
We are using experimental evolution approaches to understand evolutionary outcomes in PhiX174 in great detail. For example, parallel evolution is often attributed to strong selection. However, large variation in mutation rates across the genome could also lead to parallel evolution in independently evolving populations. We are trying to develop methods to disentangle these effects on a full genome scale.

Evolution of repetitive sequences in bacterial genomes
Bacterial genomes are very streamlined. There is almost no extragenic space and seemingly no superfluous information. Nevertheless, some bacteria contain large numbers of repetitive sequences. By combining mathematical modelling, with bioinformatics analyses and laboratory experiments we are trying to determine why we find repetitive sequences in bacterial genomes.

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Dr. Frederic Bertels

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön

Tel.: +49 (0) 4522-763-222
Email | homepage

Selected Publications

  • Bertels F, Metzner KJ, Regoes RR (2018) Convergent evolution as an indicator for selection during acute HIV-1 infection. bioRxiv, 168260
  • Bons E, Bertels F, Regoes RR (2018) Estimating the mutational fitness effects distribution during early HIV infection. Virus evolution 4 (2), vey029
  • Bertels F, Gallie J, Rainey PB (2017) Identification and characterization of domesticated bacterial transposases. Genome Biology and Evolution 9 (8), 2110-2121
  • Bertels F, Gokhale CS, Traulsen A (2017) Discovering complete quasispecies in bacterial genomes. Genetics 206 (4), 2149-2157
  • Bertels F, Rainey PB (2011) Curiosities of REPINs and RAYTs.
    Mobile Genetic Elements 1 (4), 262-301
  • Bertels F, Rainey PB (2011) Within-genome evolution of REPINs: a new family of miniature mobile DNA in bacteria. PLoS Genetics 7 (6), e1002132