The Transient Role of Chromosome Aneuploidy in Evolution to Stress

When: Friday, August 03, 2012 at 3:00 pm
Where: DA 5th fl
Speaker: Dr. Yitzhak (Tzachi) Pilpel
Organization: Senior Scientist, Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science
Sponsor: CCNR

A major challenge for molecular evolutionary dynamics is to understand how adaptive changes in gene expression programs occur when organisms face new environments. In my talk I will present our lab evolution platform that allows to monitor changes in the genome while microbes evolve under new environmental challenges. In particular I will discuss the surprising role of chromosome duplication during yeast adaptation to stress. An emergent recurring evolutionary dynamics in our experiments is that in each stress a different chromosome is selected to be duplicated, gaining stress tolerance capacity. Yet such genomic structural changes appear to be short lived and are replaced by more refined economic and long enduring solutions. Our ability to read entire evolutionary “clips” thus reveal a surprising role for gross chromosome duplications that appear to be “quick and dirty” adaptations that later facilitates more refined solutions that gradually take over.

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