October 11 2017

12:00 LSB 2320

Rachel Brem
Berkeley and Buck Institute of Aging

Dissecting trait variation between long-diverged species


A central goal of evolutionary genetics is to understand how wild organisms acquire new traits. The field has advanced on the strength of linkage and association analyses, which test for co-inheritance of DNA sequence variants with phenotype across a eukaryotic population. These tools, though powerful in many contexts, cannot be applied across reproductive barriers. As such they are not applicable to many traits of interest—from virulence in pathogens to stress resistance in extremophiles—that are fixed in reproductively isolated species. I will describe my lab's new genomic methods to break through this roadblock and dissect complex traits between eukaryotic species. Applying these approaches to yeast as a testbed, we have mapped variation in metabolic and growth phenotypes between species that have lived apart for millions of years, and we have validated the impact of the mapped loci via transgenesis. These experiments serve as proof of concept for applications of our genetic mapping strategies in species comparisons across Eukarya.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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