This meeting took place in 2004

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Natural Variation and Quantitative Genetics in Model Organisms (J2)

Organizer(s) Detlef Weigel and Bruce Walsh
January 8—13, 2004
Beaver Run Resort • Breckenridge, Colorado USA
Abstract Deadline: Oct 15, 2003
Late Abstract Deadline:
Scholarship Deadline:
Early Registration Deadline: Nov 10, 2003

Supported by Keystone Symposia

Summary of Meeting:
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.

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Scholarship / Award Information

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Abstracts submitted for poster presentation will be used as the basis for awarding the scholarships. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on the quality of science of the abstract and the relevance of the abstract to the conference topic. Only one application per abstract is accepted. Only one award per lab will be allocated.


To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be:

A graduate student or postdoctoral fellow currently enrolled in an academic institute at the start of the meeting for which you are applying. Note: a graduate student is defined as a student who is studying for a higher degree at an academic institution. A postdoctoral fellow is defined as an individual with a Ph.D., M.D., or DVM degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue their desired career path, and is within 6 years of these degrees.

Review Criteria

Criteria for Abstract Review:

  1. Relevance to the meeting topic
  2. Significance of the scientific question and results
  3. Style
    • Organization (e.g. the abstract has a clear beginning, middle and end)
    • Grammar and spelling
  4. Clarity of scientific presentations
    • Clear question or hypothesis
    • Sufficient background
    • The experimental approach and rationale for the approach are clear
    • The results are clearly presented
    • The interpretation and conclusions are reasonable and logical

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