This is a very special WEES, kicking off the academic year as well as trying out our new location. Make sure to arrive early to ensure that you get seats, we expect a huge, enthusiastic crowd for this one! The seminar will be followed by drinks at Impulse.
John Hanna Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University
Dynamics of Adaptation and Genome Evolution in a Long-Term Experiment
Evolution is an on-going process, one that can be studied experimentally in organisms with rapid generations. We have watched 12 populations of Escherichia coli evolve in a simple environment for over 29 years and 65,000 generations. The aims of this experiment are to characterize the tempo and mode of evolution, and to examine the repeatability of the phenotypic and genomic changes. We have quantified the dynamics of adaptation by natural selection, documented many cases of parallel evolution, observed changes in the underlying mutation rate, and seen the appearance of a new metabolic function that transcends the usual definition of E. coli as a species. We have sequenced hundreds of complete genomes to find the mutations in time-series of samples from the populations. These genomic data provide insights into the dynamic coupling of phenotypic and genotypic evolution during periods of optimization and innovation.
WEES is an initiative of PhD students and postdocs at Wageningen University to organize a continuing series of stimulating seminars on contemporary topics in evolution and ecology. We aim to bring together different groups at Wageningen University using a variety of systems, but with a common interest in evolutionary and ecological questions. For this series we invite researchers from all over the world who have leading roles in their field. After the talk there will be drinks for an informal discussion. WEES is funded by graduate schools PE&RC, WIMEK, EPS, VLAG and WIAS.
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