Justin Michael Crocker
Gene regulation during evolution and development
Title: "Multidimensional Approach to Decoding the Mysteries of Animal Development"
Abstract: Development and evolution are controlled, to a large degree, by regions of genomic DNA called enhancers that encode binding sites for transcription factor proteins. Binding of activators and repressors increase and reduce gene expression levels, respectively, but it is not understood how combinations of activators and repressors generate precise patterns of transcription during development. Towards this aim, we have developed novel methods to dissect transcriptional enhancers to understand their role in determining patterns of gene expression in the fruit fly, a classic model system. Here, I will discuss how robustness and evolvability may be encoded in developmental networks using our high-throughput robotics combined with synthetic biology and experimental evolution.
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