How does the genome work? How does the genome change? How do organisms and species adapt and evolve? These are central questions in biology and evolution. Yet studying how genomes actually evolve remains a tall challenge, because evolutionary changes may take time to accrue; actual adaptive mutations can be rare; and worse, since beneficial mutations "sweep" and fix in a population, the very mutations that selection acts on may no longer segregate and thus are not “mappable”, no matter how large the population panel is. Therefore, studying the genetics of evolutionary change requires unique experimental approaches both within and across populations and species. In this seminar, Frank Chan, Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biology, will discuss the tools his group developed and their approach to tackling this problem. He will discuss island mice, "Longshanks" selection experiments, and single-cell genetic mapping in cross-species hybrid stem cells. Finally, he will end by highlighting major challenges still facing the field, and their proposed approaches to understanding how the genome evolves. In this way, they aim to make progress by finding the genes (and basepairs) and dissect the mechanisms underlying evolutionary change. Read more about the Chan Group's work here.
Join us for the live event on Zoom. All participants and hosts are required to sign into a Zoom account prior to joining meetings.
Frank Chan — Frank Chan is a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biology. He earned his Ph.D. in developmental biology at Stanford University and was a VolkswagenStiftung Postdoctoral Fellow under Dr. Diethard Tautz at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany. His group aims to track how species evolve by linking DNA basepairs to traits under selection.