Baryshnikova Lab


Research areas


Functional organization of a living cell

The genetic landscape of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The network represents connections between genes with similar genetic interaction profiles (Costanzo, Baryshnikova, et al., Science, 2010).
The advent of high-throughput genomic technologies, such as microarrays, yeast-2-hybrid (Y2H) and synthetic genetic array (SGA), enabled systematic analysis of large groups of genes and proteins from a multitude of different angles and under thousands of different experimental conditions. Over the last decade, these experiments produced an enormous collection of high-quality quantitative data that empowered unprecedented progress in the understanding of gene function. However, despite this incredible wealth of data, we are still lacking a clear understanding of how different datasets fit together to represent the functional organization of a living cell. The goal of our research is to use a simple unicellular eukaryote, such as budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to understand the relationship between different types of genome-scale datasets and to construct a global unified model of a living cell, which would serve as a repository for our collective knowledge and a model for more complex cellular systems. Our work is largely based on biological network analysis and integration, and relies on the development of new data visualization tools and software.

Genome structure and evolution

The genetic linkage map of chromosome I in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
The genetic diversity of a population is largely promoted by meiotic recombination, a molecular mechanism that reshuffles parental genomes to generate new allelic combinations. While most genetic variants assort at random relative to their maternal and paternal configurations, a smaller portion of the genome tends to remain unchanged across generations due to physical and genetic linkage among loci. We are interested in understanding what is special about these loci and how recombination affects their evolutionary trajectories. We combine computational analysis of genome sequences with large scale genetic linkage data and other genome-wide maps of meiotic recombination to investigate the current structure of the yeast genome and understand factors that may have affected this structure during evolution.