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External seminar: Arild Husby

When Dec 12, 2022
from 11:00 to 12:00
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External seminar: Arild Husby (Uppsala University)

"Genomics of phenotypic plasticity"


Phenotypic plasticity is an important mechanism allowing organisms to adapt to changing environmental conditions yet we know little about its genetic basis. Over the last few years there have been significant progress in understanding how plastic traits are regulated at the genomic level and in this talk I will discuss this recent progress with a specific focus on seasonal timing of reproduction in birds and wing polyphenism in insects - both classic phenotypically plastic traits closely associated with individual fitness. By the use of genome wide association studies and epigenetic work on different natural populations of birds we have found that, by and large, all traits support the assumptions from classic quantitative genetic work of a polygenic basis with the involvement of both genetic and epigenetic effects. Studying plasticity in the wild is however challenging, the lack of control over the environmental conditions and limited possibility to sample relevant tissue for studying RNA expression and DNA methylation limits our possibilities for deep insights into genetics of plasticity. In contrast, studying the genetic basis of plasticity in wing development in insects circumvents these issues and also allow for functional work to deepen our understanding of how environmental cues impact wing size variation within and between species and I will present some recent work where we examine the genetic basis of wing polyphenism in water striders.

Host: Abderrahman Khila

Monday, December 12th

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