EEB Seminar: November 2

This week the department is pleased to welcome Rob Ness from University of Toronto Mississauga.

Mutation rate variation and its consequences for genome evolution

Rob Ness
It is widely recognized that the rate of de novo mutation is variable between species and across the genome. Investigating mutation rate variation is crucial for understanding how diversity in the genome shapes disease, fitness and ultimately evolution. However, the fact there are only ~1-10 mutations per billion genome sites in a generation has impeded our progress on describing the basic properties of de novo mutation. In my talk I will discuss widely held beliefs about how mutation rate varies and test these ideas with data from a large-scale investigation of mutation rate in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. I will also present a model that borrows techniques from machine learning to predict the mutation rate at individual sites based on their genomic properties. Using this model of mutability I will explore how fine-scale variation in mutation rate interacts with natural selection to impact the maintenance of genetic diversity.
The EEB Seminars run weekly, on Thursdays, in the EEB Lounge of the BioSciences Complex, Room 4338, from 12:30-1:30pm. This week there will be a pizza lunch to follow in the EEB Lounge.

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