BioGenomics2017 - Global Biodiversity Genomics Conference
February 21-23, 2017
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History | Washington, D.C.

Program - Single Session

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Diversity Genomics

Room: Baird Auditorium, NMNH

10:45 - 11:55

Moderator: Jun Wen, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

1.1  10:50  The Role of Whole-Genome Duplication in Plant Evolution. Pamela Soltis *, Florida Museum of Natural History

Polyploidy "whole-genome duplication (WGD)" has long been recognized as a key evolutionary force in plants, and recent genomic analyses indicate that all angiosperms bear the signature of WGD. Despite rampant WGD, the number of estimated genes remains roughly constant in all plant genomes, regardless of genome size, raising intriguing questions about patterns and processes of genome evolution following WGD. For example, are duplicate genes retained, and if so, how are they regulated? Investigations of homosporous ferns, with huge genomes, provide excellent evolutionary models for addressing questions of genome structure and evolution. In addition, recent polyploids, such as the angiosperms Tragopogon mirus and T. miscellus, which originated in the early 1900s, offer the opportunity to examine the evolutionary and genomic changes that occur shortly after polyploid formation, with further implications for processes of genome evolution. Data for these recent polyploids demonstrate the dynamic nature of polyploid genomes, with chromosomal, genetic, and genomic changes that collectively yield novel genic combinations that may translate into phenotypic novelty. Finally, on a macroevolutionary scale, WGDs mark the origin of seed plants, angiosperms, eudicots, and other hyperdiverse groups, suggesting a possible causal role of WGD in the diversification of these clades. Moreover, many such clades are characterized by novel traits, suggesting that features that arise via microevolutionary processes may translate into key innovations on macroevolutionary timescales.)

1.2  11:10  Genomic Insights into Social Evolution. Gene Robinson *, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Studies of genes and social behavior, aided by new genomic resources, are coming of age. Here, I highlight some of the insights that have emerged from genomic research on the response to social challenge in insects and vertebrates, and the evolution of insect societies. I will focus on two major insights: 1) Nature builds diverse social brains from common genetic blocks, including those related to metabolism and transcriptional regulation; and 2) Changes in the "wiring" of gene regulatory networks are involved in the evolution of insect societies.

1.3  11:30  Diversity of Fish Genomes. Byrappa Venkatesh *, A*STAR, Singapore

The ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygians; hereafter referred to as "fishes") are the most diverse and successful group of vertebrates. With approximately 30,000 species, fishes constitute half of all extant vertebrates. They exhibit a wide variation in their genome size, morphology, adaptation, behavior and breeding habits. Fishes are also an important source of protein-diet and contribute substantially to the economy of many countries through capture fisheries, aquaculture, recreational fisheries, and ornamental fish industries. Several fish species are under threat of extinction due to overexploitation and destruction of habitat. To better understand the genetic basis of phenotypic diversity and adaptations of fishes and to generate genomic resources for that can help in devising efficient strategies for management of fish stocks, genomic sequences of many fish species are being sequenced. One of the concerted efforts to sequence fish genomes was initiated by the Genome 10K project which aims to catalogue genome sequences of 10,000 vertebrates across mammals, birds, non-avian reptiles, amphibians and fishes ( In line with the abundance and diversity of fishes, Genome 10K has targeted to catalogue the genomes of 3,000 fishes. Priority is given to representatives of different taxonomic groups, families with most diverse species, threatened species, economically important species, potential genetic models and phenotypically highly derived species. At present more than 60 fish genomes have been sequenced and published by Genome 10K members and other groups. Comparative analyses of fish genomes have provided novel insights into the diversity of fish genomes as well as into the genetic bases of phenotypic diversity of fishes.

11:50 Questions & Discussion

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