My research aims to understand the basic forces that shape the evolution of genome organization, structure, and function. I am particularly interested in the genomic fate of organisms that have made the major transition to living exclusively inside the cells of other organisms, examples of which include intracellular pathogens, endosymbiotic mutualists, and the bacterial progenitors of mitochondria and chloroplasts. As a graduate student in Doug Taylor’s lab at the University of Virginia, I examined the role of mutational processes in the evolution of organelle genome architecture in plants. Currently, I am investigating the genomic interactions between psyllids (Insecta: Hemiptera) and their endosymbiotic bacteria, which harbor some of the most reduced and degenerated genomes ever identified. These relationships represent an ideal model for elucidating the causes and consequences of genome reduction in intracellular bacteria.
Sloan DB, Moran NA. In Press. The evolution of genomic instability in the obligate endosymbionts of whiteflies. Genome Biology and Evolution.
Wilton PR, Sloan DB, Logsdon JM, Doddapaneni H, Neiman M. 2013. Characterization of transcriptomes from sexual and asexual lineages of a New Zealand snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum). Molecular Ecology Resources. 13: 289-294.
Sloan DB, Müller K, McCauley DE, Taylor DR, Štorchová H. 2012. Intraspecific variation in mitochondrial genome sequence, structure, and gene content in Silene vulgaris, an angiosperm with pervasive cytoplasmic male sterility. New Phytologist. 196: 1228-1239.
Sloan DB, Moran NA. 2012. Endosymbiotic bacteria as a source of carotenoids in whiteflies. Biology Letters. 8: 986-989.
Sloan DB, Moran NA. 2012. Genome reduction and co-evolution between the primary and secondary bacterial symbionts of psyllids. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 29: 3781-3792.
Raghavan R, Sloan DB, Ochman H. 2012. Antisense transcription is pervasive but rarely conserved in enteric bacteria. mBio. 3(4):e00156-12
Sloan DB, Alverson AJ, Wu M, Palmer JD, Taylor DR. 2012. Recent acceleration of plastid sequence and structural evolution coincides with extreme mitochondrial divergence in the angiosperm genus Silene. Genome Biology and Evolution. 4(3): 294-306.
Sloan DB, Alverson AJ, Chuckalovcak JP, Wu M, McCauley DE, Palmer JD, Taylor DR. 2012. Rapid evolution of enormous, multichromosomal genomes in flowering plant mitochondria with exceptionally high mutation rates. PLoS Biology. 10(1): e1001241.
Mower JP, Sloan DB, Alverson AJ. 2012. Plant mitochondrial diversity – the genomics revolution. Plant Genome Diversity vol. 1, Wendel JF (ed.) Springer-Verlag, Vienna. pp. 123-144.
Sloan DB, Keller SR, Berardi AE, Sanderson BJ, Karpovich JF, Taylor DR. 2012. De novo transcriptome assembly and polymorphism detection in the flowering plant Silene vulgaris (Caryophyllaceae). Molecular Ecology Resources. 12(2): 333-343.
Rautenberg A, Sloan DB, Aldén V, Oxelman B. 2012. Phylogenetic relationships of Silene multinervia (Caryophyllaceae) and Silene section Conoimorpha. Systematic Botany. 37(1): 226-237.
Sloan DB, Taylor DR. 2012. Evolutionary rate variation in organelle genomes: the role of mutational processes. In: Bullerwell CE (ed.). Organelle Genetics: Evolution of Organelle Genomes and Gene Expression. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. pp. 123-146.
Alverson AJ, Zhuo S, Rice DW, Sloan DB, Palmer JD. 2011. The mitochondrial genome of the legume Vigna radiata and the analysis of recombination across short mitochondrial repeats. PLoS One. 6(1): e16404.
Sloan DB, Alverson AJ, Štorchová H, Palmer JD, Taylor DR. 2010. Extensive loss of translational genes in the structurally dynamic mitochondrial genome of Silene latifolia. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 10:274.
Sloan DB, Taylor DR. 2010. Testing for selection on synonymous sites in plant mitochondrial genomes: the role of codon bias and RNA editing. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 70(5):479-491.
Sloan DB, MacQueen AH, Alverson AJ, Palmer JD, Taylor DR. 2010. Extensive loss of RNA editing sites in rapidly evolving Silene mitochondrial genomes: Selection vs. retroprocessing as the driving force. Genetics. 185:1369-1380.
Sloan DB, Panjeti VG. 2010. Evolutionary feedbacks between reproductive mode and mutation rate exacerbate the paradox of sex. Evolution. 64(4): 1129-1135.
Sloan DB, Oxelman B, Rautenberg A, Taylor DR. 2009. A phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial substitution rate variation in the angiosperm tribe Sileneae (Caryophyllaceae). BMC Evolutionary Biology. 9:260.
Sloan DB, Barr CM, Olson MS, Keller SR, Taylor DR. 2008. Evolutionary rate variation at multiple levels of biological organization in plant mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 25(2): 243-246.
Sloan DB, Giraud T, Hood ME. 2008. Maximized virulence in a sterilizing pathogen: the anther-smut fungus and its co-evolved hosts. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 21(6): 1544-1554.
Bret-Harte MS, Mack MC, Goldsmith GR, Sloan DB, DeMarco J, Shaver GR, Ray PM, Biesinger Z, Chapin FS. 2008. Plant functional types do not predict biomass responses to removal and fertilization in Alaskan tussock tundra. Journal of Ecology. 96(4): 713-726.
Pillitteri LJ, Sloan DB, Bogenschutz NL, Torii KU. 2007. Termination of asymmetric cell division and differentiation of stomata. Nature. 445: 501-505.
Antonovics J, Abbate JL, Baker CE, Daley D, Hood ME, Jenkins CE, Johnson LJ, Murray JJ, Panjeti VG, Rudolf VHW, Sloan DB, Vondrasek J. 2007. Evolution by any other name: Antibiotic resistance and avoidance of the E-word. PLoS Biology. 5(2): e30.
Barr CM, Keller SR, Ingvarsson PK, Sloan DB, Taylor DR. 2007. Variation in polymorphism and mutation rate among mitochondrial genes in Silene vulgaris. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 24(8): 1783-1791.
McCormick MK, Whigham DF, Sloan DB, O'Malley K, Hodkinson B. 2006. Orchid-fungal fidelity: a marriage meant to last? Ecology. 87(4): 903-911.
Heschel MS, Sultan SE, Glover S, and Sloan DB. 2004. Population differentiation and plastic responses to drought stress in the generalist annual, Polygonum persicaria. International Journal of Plant Science. 165(5): 817-824.