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Biology Seminar - Dr. Sarah Schaak

Date: 4:00pm - 5:00pm PDT October 29, 2012 Location: J.R. Howard Hall Room 132

J.R. Howard Hall Room 132

Dr. Sarah Schaak will present on Understanding Genome-Wide Rates and Consequences of Mutation: A Genotypic and Phenotypic Analysis. 

Sarah Schaak’s interest:

I am interested in the short- and long-term consequences of spontaneous mutation in terms of shaping the size, organization, and landscape of the genome.  I am also interested in the rate of mutation, and thus its impact on fitness, adaptation, the evolution of sex, and speciation in various environments.  This is especially interesting to me in eukaryotic systems, where multiple genomes with different evolutionary dynamics are present in each lineage (in the nucleus and within certain organelles).  Among the many types of mutation that occur, mobile DNA is the source of some of the most dramatic genetic changes that we observe.  Mobile DNA (also referred to as selfish genes, jumping genes, transposable elements, or mobile genetic elements) can move within and between organisms, and can even cross species boundaries.  Further, they can carry DNA with them, which can be amplified to high copy number in the genome as a result of their mobile capacity.  Despite the importance of spontaneous mutation and the near ubiquity of mobile DNA, we have few empirical estimates of mutation rate and and are only beginning to understand the genomic landscape of eukaryotes. My research is aimed at understanding the proximate and ultimate changes brought about by mutation, especially those caused by mobile DNA, at the genotypic and phenotypic level.


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