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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

M O L E C U L A R & C O M P U TAT I O NA L B I O LO G Y
COLLOQUIUM SERIES

Brandon S. Gaut, PhD


from
University of California, Irvine
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary
Biology
will present on

"The Marvelous Fluidity of Plant


Genomes: Examples from Maize
and Grape”

Abstract: Through population genomics, we know a great deal


about SNP variability within a species, but far less about variation in
genomic size and content, especially structural variation. In this talk,
I hope to provide insights into genome variability and the
evolutionary processes that affect that variability, based on two
Friday, February 15, 2019 projects. The first is a simple experiment: monitoring the effect of
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
selfing on outcrossed maize lines through time. Over the course of
Ray R. Irani Hall just six generations, we detected strong selective purging, including
1050 Childs Way, RRI 101 the loss of more than 400 Mbp (or about three Arabidopsis genomes)
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2910 from the genome of some lines. In theory, selfing decreases
heterozygosity at a rate of 0.50 per generation, but this theoretical
rate is slowed from the first generation onward, probably due to the
effects of deleterious recessive variants. In the second example, I
For additional information, turn to grapes. By sequencing the highly heterozygous Chardonnay
contact: genome, we show that structural variation is rampant within grapes
Sergey Nuzhdin, PhD and that structural variants accumulate as deleterious recessives via
snuzhdin@usc.edu clonal propagation. Some of these variants have phenotypic effects.
The berry color locus is a particularly dramatic example,
Jen Nelson
where convergent phenotypic evolution in berry color is associated
jmbrewer@usc.edu
with independent, large and complex inversions.