Identifying the forces that shape diversity in genome sequence, structure, and function is the defining challenge for the field of molecular evolution in the genomics era.
Obligately intracellular endosymbionts and organelles have long represented valuable systems to address this challenge because, in spite of their diverse functional roles and phylogenetic origins, they exhibit striking patterns of convergence in genome architecture.
Sloan will report the results of genomic analysis in two extreme examples of divergence in endosymbiont and organelle genomes that defy explanation under current theory, including an unprecedented mitochondrial genome expansion in flowering plants and the evolution of insect endosymbionts genomes that are so reduced that they blur the distinction between organism and organelle.
The resulting data provide the basis for testing hypotheses that integrate population genetic theory with observed variation in molecular mechanisms such as mutation and recombination.
Sloan will outline ongoing research and future directions that leverage recent advances in DNA sequencing technology and apply systems-level approaches to understand the role of co-evolutionary interactions with the host genome in driving the evolution of organelle and endosymbiont genomes.
Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program welcomes Glyn Parry, University of Northumbria. Co-sponsored by the Research Council and the Honors Program, and the Department of History. Professor Parry's book, The Arch Conjuror of England, will be available for sale--this book is shortlisted for the History Today 2013 Book Prize