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SeMoVi - February 10th, 2010

SeMoVi
14h00 - 15h00 Andreas Wagner, University of Zürich
On the relationship between robustness and evolutionary innovation
More information on the Andreas Wagner's website
15h00 - 15h30 Pause café
15h30 - 16h30

Marie DelattreENS Lyon
Evolvability of the first asymmetric cell division in nematode embryos

Stéphane GenieysUCBL
Mathematical modelling of Darwin's divergence principle

16h30 - 17h00 Discussion générale

 

Andreas Wagner, University of Zürich
On the relationship between robustness and evolutionary innovation

Mutational robustness and evolvability, a system's ability to produce heritable phenotypic variation, harbour a paradoxical tension. On one hand, high robustness implies low production of heritable phenotypic variation. On the other hand, both experimental and computational analyses of neutral networks indicate that robustness enhances evolvability. I here resolve this tension using a molecular study system. To resolve the tension, one must distinguish between robustness of a genotype and a phenotype. I confirm that genotype (sequence) robustness and evolvability share an antagonistic relationship. In stark contrast, phenotype (structure) robustness promotes structure evolvability. A consequence is that finite populations of sequences with a robust phenotype can access large amounts of phenotypic variation while spreading through a neutral network. Population-level processes and phenotypes rather than individual sequences are key to understand the relationship between robustness and evolvability.

 

 

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