Richard Lenski, Michigan State University, Time travel in experimental evolution: Phenotypic and genomic dynamics across 50,000 generations
Evolution is an on-going process. Therefore, it can be studied experimentally in organisms with suitably short generations. Given the ability to freeze and revive some microorganisms, one can also travel back in time in these experimental studies. My group has maintained 12 populations of Escherichia coli in a simple environment for over 25 years and 50,000 generations. Two goals of this long-term experiment are to characterize the trajectory of evolution and examine the repeatability of phenotypic and genomic changes. We have quantified the dynamics of adaptation by natural selection, documented many cases of parallel evolution, and watched the appearance of a novel function that transcends the usual definition of E. coli as a species. We are sequencing hundreds of complete genomes to find all of the mutations in time-series of samples from the populations. These genomic data provide new insights into the dynamic coupling of phenotypic and genotypic evolution during periods of optimization and innovation.
Location: Lewis Thomas Lab 003
Date/Time: 03/04/14 at 4:00 pm - 03/04/14 at 5:00 pm
Category: Special Seminars
Department: Lewis-Sigler Institute