University of Cambridge > > Evolution and Development Seminar Series > The evolution of regular patterning in plants and animals

The evolution of regular patterning in plants and animals

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Nadine Randel.


The genetic code of multicellular organisms is decoded into a phenotype through developmental processes. While both the plant lineage and animal lineage each arise from a single ancestor, millions of years of evolution have transformed the genetic code of these ancestors to generate the staggering diversity of form and function we observe today. I use a variety of computational evolutionary simulations to study how modern developmental mechanisms arise from ancient mechanisms. In these simulations, a population is tracked over thousands of generations of mutation and selection, meanwhile keeping a perfect “fossil record” of intermediate genetic solutions. This allows me to study how the presence of such ancient mechanisms and pathways shape the convergent or divergent evolution of developmental mechanisms in extant lineages, by rerunning the evolutionary tape multiple times. I will discuss two projects, one on plant evolution and one on animal evolution, to highlight how this works and what we can learn about similarities and differences in these two lineages.

This talk is part of the Evolution and Development Seminar Series series.

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