Evolution from beyond genetics?


Evolution from beyond genetics?

Evening Meeting

18:00 Thursday 15th October 2015

hybridization or whole-genome doubling

From climate change to internal catastrophes like hybridization or whole-genome doubling, sudden alterations in the environment drive rapid adaptive shifts. Previously deemed extremely slow, adaptive processes can in fact take place on several temporal levels. Recent evidence indicates that heritable phenotypic variation does not need to be based on variation in primary DNA sequences: epigenetic marks can provide differential access to the underlying genetic information, often integrating quickly environmental signals. Our mechanistic understanding of epigenetic processes in model organisms has improved tremendously in the recent years. However, the naturally occurring epigenetic diversity and its impact on local adaptation and species interaction remain little understood.

Dr Ovidiu Paun, University of Vienna, broadly investigates why and how plants diversify, by focusing on adaptation as a fundamental evolutionary process. An important theme of his recent work is the exploration of the role of epigenetic variation in evolution. Focusing on non-model organisms, his research group targets the extent and timescale of interactions between genotype, epigenotype and environment, and their individual contributions to adaptation and phenotypic divergence. This talk will discuss latest results and their implications for our evolutionary synthesis.

Part of Biology Week 2015

Biology Week 2015​​

This meeting is free and open to all; registration is not necessary. Tea and coffee will be served in the Library from 17:30 and a wine reception will follow.

Image (c) O. Paun

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