March 13 2015

12:00 1100 TLSB

Sasha Dall
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter

Genes as cues: phenotypic integration of genetic and epigenetic information from a Darwinian perspective


The development of multicellular organisms involves a delicate interplay between genetic and environmental influences. It is often useful to think of developmental systems as integrating available sources of information about current conditions to produce mature organisms. Such systems are under genetic control, and subject to Darwinian selection, so we expect them to evolve to produce mature organisms that fit well with current ecological \(including social\) conditions. Genes and inherited physiology provide cues, as does the state of the environment during development. I argue for the scientific value of this explicitly informational perspective on development by providing detailed examples \(models\) of how it can elucidate taxonomically diverse phenomena. I also present a general framework for linking genetic and phenotypic variation from an informational perspective. I show how rigorously applying Darwinian logic at an organismal level can elucidate genetic influences on phenotypic variation in novel and counterintuitive ways.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































this is idtest: