Comparative genomics has become an extremely powerful tool for the identification and characterization of large-scale evolutionary events. Fungi, in particular, pose a unique challenge to comparative genomics because of their characteristic preference for one stage in their alternation of generations, either diploid or haploid.
In order to determine whether appropriate functional comparisons could be made across species, Eric and his Broad colleagues determined the contribution of ploidy. They found that ploidy affects genes related to RNA metabolism and ribosome biogenesis. This work will provide a baseline for future studies that compare diploid and haploid yeast species, spanning 300 million years of evolution, in order to reveal particular evolutionary events.