I have been interested in RecA and related proteins for many many years. In particular I have been interested in structural and functional evolution of RecA and its relatives. This all started when for my second scientific paper I helped a post doc in the lab where I was doing my PhD do some structure-function-evolution studies (with a little help from Chris Lee, then in Mike Levitt's lab, and my brother, then in Don Wiley's lab).
For my first talk at a scientific meeting I discussed using RecA as a marker for phylogenetic studies (and had a slide where I had text saying RecA was cool). Over the years I have continued to try and study RecA or at least use it for studying microbial diversity in some way. See for example
- The RecA protein as a model molecule for molecular systematic studies of bacteria: comparison of trees of RecAs and 16S rRNAs from the same species
- The phylogenetic relationships of Chlorobium tepidum and Chloroflexus aurantiacus based upon their RecA sequences
- Analysis of Deinococcus radiodurans's transcriptional response to ionizing radiation and desiccation reveals novel proteins that contribute to extreme radio resistance
- Sequence characterization and comparative analysis of three plasmids isolated from environmental Vibrio spp.
- Stalking the fourth domain in metagenomic data: searching for, discovering, and interpreting novel, deep branches in marker gene phylogenetic trees)
The paper is worth a look and if you are interested in structure-function-evolution types of studies and need a good protein to work on, I would suggest you look at RecA and its relatives ... They are Cool.
Oh and for the fun of it -- I have found some of my slides from that talk in 1995. Here they are