Peter Young’s research interests include the population genetics, molecular phylogeny and comparative genomics of rhizobia and other bacteria. He has published more than a hundred papers in this field over the course of thirty years, and continues to be involved new projects in collaboration with researchers around the world. He also initiated and developed the use molecular approaches to study the ecology and diversity of mycorrhizal fungi. In recent years, he has collaborated with computer scientists to explore evolution in computational systems.
A few highlights of his more recent research are:
i) Exploration of the idea that bacterial core genomes (determining taxonomy) and accessory genomes (determining adaptation) have distinct evolutionary histories.
ii) Definition of “chromids” as a widespread component of bacterial genomes.
iii) Evidence that the main symbionts of Mimosa species are betaproteobacteria in the genus Burkholderia.
iv) Standard primers used in hundreds of studies of mycorrhizal diversity.
v) The first mitochondrial genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, and contribution to the first nuclear genome.
He also has the following commitments.
i) Chairperson: ICSP Subcommittee on the taxonomy of rhizobia and agrobacteria.
ii) Editor in Chief: Genes (Journal).
iii) Editorial board member: Open Biology (Journal).