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Departmental seminar - Thomas Flatt : The Genetic Basis of Clinal Adaptation

When Oct 18, 2018
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where Biffen Lecture Theatre, underneath Dept of Genetics
Contact Name Frank Jiggins
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The Genetics Seminar Series talk will be at 14:00 in the Biffen Lecture Theatre on Thursday 18th October 2018.  There will also be an opportunity to meet the speaker in the Department of Genetics tea room immediately after the talk from 15:00 until 15:30 and biscuits will be provided. 

Professor Thomas Flatt from Department of Biology, University of Fribourg will be speaking and the title of the talk is,

''The Genetic Basis of Clinal Adaptation'' 

 One of the central goals of evolutionary genetics is to understand how organisms adapt to environmental heterogeneity. A promising approach towards this end is to investigate systematic, gradual phenotypic and genotypic changes along environmental (e.g. climatic) gradients, so-called clines, which are thought to be driven by spatially varying selection.
Over the past 7 years we have been using next-generation sequencing, population genetics and laboratory assays to identify and characterize candidate genes and polymorphisms that might contribute to variation in fitness-related (life-history) traits among populations of the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster, situated along a latitudinal cline spanning the North American east coast. Our genomic and phenotypic analyses suggest that spatially varying selection is pervasive and acts on numerous loci and pathways, with many candidates implicated in the physiological regulation of life-history, for example in the insulin / insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway, and exhibiting parallel differentiation along the parallel cline along the Australian east coast. In my talk, I will focus on our recent work on two clinal polymorphisms, namely a large chromosomal inversion polymorphism that harbors an excess of clinal SNPs and a clinally varying allele in the insulin signaling transcription factor foxo. In both cases we have experimental evidence that these polymorphisms make a causative contribution to the observed phenotypic clines of several fitness components.

Host: Frank Jiggins

Graduate students are expected to attend unless they have made alternative arrangements with the series organisers.