Revisiting the role of phenotypic plasticity in evolution using Caenorhabditis nematodes as model organisms


Erik Andersen, Charles F. (Charlie) Baer, Christian Braendle (organiser), Ivo Chelo, Asher Cutter, Marie Delattre, Ronald E. (Ron) Ellis, Marie-Anne Félix, Eric Haag, Simon C. Harvey, Karin C. Kiontke, Patrick McGrath, Stephen (Steve) Proulx, Scott Rifkin, Mattew (Matt) Rockman, Henrique Teotónio (organiser), Mark Viney



Revisiting the role of phenotypic plasticity in evolution using Caenorhabditis nematodes as model organisms
By Christian Braendle
25 – 30 August, 2014


A key challenge in current biology is to understand how environmental variation interacts with genome and development to generate phenotypic diversity and how such interactions evolve. By focusing on the biology of the Caenorhabditis elegans and related species we have aimed to better define these problems and discuss approaches to resolve them. C. elegans has recently become a model system for comparative population genomics and experimental evolution, which together with the classic tools from cellular and developmental biology available in this nematode, suggest that this is one of the very few species where real progress in understanding phenotypic plasticity can be achieved. Specifically, well-defined cellular and developmental processes can be subjected to both environmental and genetic manipulation, long-term experimental evolution from standing variation and mutation can be coupled with high resolution mapping of complex phenotypes, and computer modelling of well-known gene expression networks and their temporal dynamics can be investigated. This workshop at Les Treilles brought together recognized scientists in the areas of phenotypic plasticity, gene-network evolution, genome structure, population genetics, QTL and GWAS mapping, gene expression, sex-determination and germline development, and also behaviour and ecology. Participants from Europe and the USA with both theoretical and empirical expertise were represented, many of whom only recently established their independent research groups.


Key Words

Phenotypic variance, phenotypic plasticity, genotype-by-environment interactions, genotype-phenotype map, Caenorhabditis nematodes, evolution

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Asher Cutter Mark Viney Christian Braendle Ivo Chelo Marie-Anne Félix Stephen (Steve) Proulx Ronald E. (Ron) Ellis Henrique Teotónio Marie Delattre Karin C. Kiontke Erik Andersen Matthew (Matt) Rockman Charles F. (Charlie) Baer Eric Haag Simon C. Harvey Patrick McGrath Scott Rifkin Revisiting the role of phenoplasticity in evolution using Caenorhabditis nematodes as model organisms - Fondation des Treilles, August 2014
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