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PRBB-CRG Sessions Patricia J. Wittkopp

PRBB-CRG Sessions Patricia J. Wittkopp

PRBB-CRG Sessions Patricia J. Wittkopp

01/06/2018
MARIE CURIE

01/06/201812:00MARIE CURIEPRBB-CRG SessionsPatricia J. WittkoppUniversity of Michigan, US"Evolution of Gene expression: Fitness effects of regulatory mutations in multiple environments"Host: Phd Students (CRG)Abstract:Changes in gene expression often underlie phenotypic variation within and between species, which makes understanding how gene expression evolves a key step toward understanding the evolution of higher order phenotypes. Using the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system, we have characterized the effects of hundreds of new (cis- and trans-acting) mutations on expression of a focal gene and organismal fitness. This characterization includes not only the effects of mutations on affect the average expression level of cells that carry that the mutation but also the variability of expression level among cells in a single environment (expression noise) and the average expression level among environments (phenotypic plasticity). Comparing mutational effects to the effects of variants segregating in natural populations has allowed us to infer selection acting on both expression noise and phenotypic plasticity. Using a sensitive, lab-based assay for relative fitness, we have elucidated the relationship between expression and relative fitness in multiple environments, allowing us to understand the evolutionary processes that most likely produced the signals of selection observed for expression noise and phenotypic plasticity. An overview of this work and its implications will be presented.