Dr. Luciano M. Matzkin

matzkin l

Assistant Professor
Director of the Graduate Program

Evolutionary Biology
Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
Population Genetics

Office: Shelby Center Room 302K
Phone: 256.824.4326
Email: lmm0015@uah.edu 

Lab webpage


Research Description

Our lab investigates how the ecology of a species shapes patterns of variation (from genes to genomes), how populations adapt to environmental shifts and the implication of ecological adaptation in the process of speciation. Our research revolves around these fundamental aspects of evolution. Our work focuses on: (i) the study of the genetical basis of adaptation; (ii) analysis of genome evolution via the sequencing and assembly for several cactophilic Drosophila species; (iii) examining the role of gene expression changes in evolution; (iv) the effects of ecological adaptation in behavioral evolution and its effects on reproductive isolation; (v) speciation genetics/genomics; (vi) the relationship between molecular, expression and life history variation and evolution;. We mostly focus on a group of cactophilic Drosophila that inhabit the deserts of North America. These Drosophila species are an excellent system to study given that their ecology is well understood and the fact that we can perform many genetic, genomic, manipulative and life history experiments.

Selected Publications

(for a complete list of publications please visit our lab page)

Matzkin, L. M. (2014). Ecological genomics of host shifts in Drosophila mojavensis. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 781:233-247. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-7347-9_12

Matzkin, L. M., Johnson, S., Paight, C., and Markow, T. A.  (2013).  Preadult parental diet affects offspring development and metabolism in Drosophila melanogasterPLoS ONE. 8:e59350

Matzkin, L. M. and Markow, T.A.  (2013).  Transcriptional differentiation across the four cactus host races of Drosophila mojavensis. In Speciation: Natural Processes, Genetics and Biodiversity.  Edited by Michalak, P., pp 119-135.  Nova Science Publishers Inc., New York.

Lang, M., Murat, S., Clark, A. G. Gouppil, G., Blais, C., Matzkin, L. M., Guittard, E., Yoshiyama-Ynagawa, T., Kataoka, H., Niwa, R., Lafont, R., Dauphin-Villemant, C., and Orgogozo, V.  (2012).  Mutations in the neverland gene turned Drosophila pachea into an obligate specialist species. Science. 337:1658-1661.

Matzkin, L. M. (2012). Population transcriptomics of cactus host shifts in Drosophila mojavensis. Molecular Ecology. 21:2428-2439.

Bono, J. M.*, Matzkin, L. M.*, Kelleher, E. S., Markow, T. A. (2011). Postmating transcriptional changes in reproductive tracts of con- and heterospecifically-mated Drosophila mojavensis females. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (*Authors contributed equally). 108:7878-7883.

Matzkin, L. M., Johnson, S., Paight, C., Bozinovic, G. and Markow, T.A. (2011). Diet, development and metabolic pools in ecologically diverse Drosophila. Journal of Nutrition. 141:1127–1133.

Matzkin, L. M., and Markow, T. A. (2009). Transcriptional regulation of metabolism associated with the increased desiccation resistance of the cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis. Genetics. 182:1279-1288.

Schaeffer, S. W., Bhutkar, A., McAllister, B. F., Matsuda, M., Matzkin, L. M., et al. (2008). Polytene Chromosomal Maps of 11 Drosophila species: The order of genomic scaffolds inferred from genetic and physical maps. Genetics. 179:1601-1655.

Matzkin, L. M. (2008). The molecular basis of host adaptation in cactophilic Drosophila: Molecular evolution of Glutathione-S-transferase (Gst) in Drosophila mojavensis. Genetics. 178:1073-1083.

Drosophila 12 Genomes Consortium (Matzkin, L. M. co-author). (2007). Evolution of genes and genomes on the Drosophila phylogeny. Nature. 450:203-218.

Matzkin, L. M., Watts, T. D., Bitler B. G., Machado, C. A. and Markow, T. A. (2006). Functional genomics of cactus host shifts in Drosophila mojavensis. Molecular Ecology. 15:4635-4643.