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About this Event
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, USA
The Schaack lab is interested in the short- and long-term consequences of spontaneous mutation in terms of shaping the size, organization, and landscape of the genome.
On the Origin of Genetic Variation: Exploring Patterns, Causes, and Consequences of Mutation Rate Variation
Abstract: The rate (mu, µ), spectrum (frequency of types), and average effect (alpha) of spontaneous mutations are three of the most important parameters in biology, as they determine how much and what kind of genetic variation is generated and maintained in populations. Genetic variation, in turn, provides the fodder for evolutionary change for all traits, including mutation rates. Our work investigates variation in mutation rates among lineages within the species Daphnia magna compared to estimates for other multicellular eukaryotes. We also estimate mutations across categories (e.g., microsatellite expansion and mobile DNA proliferation), rather than just looking at point mutations in the nuclear genome, which has been the focus of most past mutation rate studies. In this talk, I'll introduce the four categories of theory thought to govern the evolution of mutation rates. Then, I will share our surprising empirical observations of high levels of intraspecific mutation rate variation, which challenge all of those theories. Finally, I'll argue that a pluralistic framework may be required for understanding the factors contributing to mutation rate variation, and discuss our plans to use that approach in our future experiments.
3:30pm Snacks & Socializing in the Bio Breezeway
4:10pm Talk Begins
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