Huakun is working on the function of tetraploid meiosis genes in Arabidopsis arenosa.
She is also working on understanding thermotolerance in meiosis.
Though it is clear that modulation of recombination is somehow involved, the mechanism(s) underlying how autopolyploids evolve stable meiotic chromosome segregation remains mysterious. Therefore, a major focus of Huakun’s project is to clearly characterise differences between diploids and tetraploid, as well as functional divergence of diploid and tetraploid alleles of core meiosis genes that were under selection in tetraploid.
At the same time, Huakun is also using RNAseq to assess transcriptomes of meiocytes in genotypes with varying tolerances in a range of temperatures.