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Conditionally functional variation and the evolution of complex traits

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Speaker
Annalise Paaby Georgia Institute of Technology
When
13 November 2018 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Where
Berg Auditorium, 100 Life Sciences Building
Host
Dept of Biology
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Live Stream: 

http://live.libraries.psu.edu/Mediasite/Play/85ec64989d734289b7460959dd782faa1d

 Abstract:

The development of C. elegans is precise and stereotyped, including patterns of cell division in early embryogenesis. However, natural genetic variation in wild-type isolates can cause dramatic differences in phenotype following single-gene perturbations, indicating that different wild-type genotypes harbor functional variation in critical gene networks. Experiments demonstrating this also revealed extreme variations in the efficacy of RNAi against targets in the germline. We investigate the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern these differences using a combination of genome sequencing, genetic crosses and single-molecule FISH to estimate transcript abundance in the early embryo. We find that the genetic basis of this variation is polygenic and complex, and may be governed by threshold-mediated mechanisms.