Natural Variation and Quantitative Genetics in Model Organisms
joint with Human Genome Sequence Variation and the Inherited Basis of Common Disease
Organizer(s): Detlef Weigel and Bruce WalshDate: January 08 - 13, 2004
Location: Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge, CO, USA
Despite tremendous advances in the genetic analysis of many biological processes, the molecular basis of the variation seen within and between species remains largely unknown. ·Standard genetic analyses in model organisms have focused on laboratory-induced mutations with large phenotypic effects, which contrasts with the variation seen in natural populations, which is mostly continuous. The phenotypic variation seen within or between closely related species also contrasts with the phenotypic variation seen between more distantly related species. It seems likely, however, that intra- and interspecific variation are two sides of the same coin, although a unifying molecular framework has not yet been developed. Now is an exciting time to revisit these questions because of several major technological advances. These include new analytical tools, such as high-throughput genotyping, new statistical and computational methods, comprehensive transcriptome and proteome profiling, as well as opportunities to compare entire genomes between closely and distantly related organisms. Understanding the molecular basis of natural variation has important implications both for understanding the evolution of new traits, as well as for understanding how selection has shaped genomes, including the human genome. The meeting will have as a major focus both animal and plant model organisms, in which the use of quantitative genetics is experiencing a renaissance. The molecular study of Quantitative Trait Loci, several of which have been traced back to individual genes, is allowing important conclusions as to the type of genes and type of changes that underlie quantitative phenotypic variation. A second focus of the meeting will be recent discoveries of how changes in key regulatory factors cause major phenotypic differences in more distantly related taxa. The overall goal of this meeting is to bring together a diverse group of investigators that includes scientists interested in the evolution of developmental diversity, quantitative geneticists and population geneticists. ·Finally, the proposed meeting, which will focus on genetic model organisms such as Drosophila and Arabidopsis, will be an excellent complement to the meeting that is to be held concurrently, on Human Genetic Diversity.
Discounted Abstract Deadline: October 15 2003
Discounted Registration Deadline: November 10 2003