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Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Evolvability Seminar - Evolution of evolvability: structuring of henomes and regulomes

24th February 2011, 16:15, Whitehead Room, School of Biological Sciences, Professor Pauline Hogeweg (Utrecht University)

This seminar focuses on two striking features of biological evolution, which have recently become apparent:
1. Evolution experiments in for example yeast have shown that in a surprisingly small number of generations, populations successfully adapt to changed conditions by changing the expression a large proportion of their genes.
2. Phylogenetic reconstructions of fully sequenced genomes have shown that surprisingly many genes were present in early ancestral lineages and that gene loss played an important role in subsequent adaptation.

Professor Hogeweg will show that these features are, in fact, inherent properties of Darwinian evolution, given sufficient flexibility to structure the genome and regulome. Evolvability evolves through the structuring of genomes and gene regulatory networks. Moreover, a large increase of genome size early in adaptive evolution, followed by gene loss, is a pattern commonly observed in evolutionary runs, especially those leading to well adapted populations.

Contact a.r.hoelzel@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.