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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Zanis, Michael, J. [1].

Challenges associated with inferring phylogenetic relationships of multigene families involved in the evolution of development.

Much remains to be discovered about the tempo and mode of evolutionary processes responsible for the diversification of genetic pathways involved in development. In many instances, studies of the evolution of development seek to understand the evolutionary relationships and changes in patterns of gene function across large multigene families. Multigene families have expanded by a combination of gene and whole genome duplication events during the radiation of the tree of life. Genes within these multigene families have proven to be major regulators of developmental processes in a number of organisms. For example, during the evolution of plants there has been a proliferation of several gene families involved in regulating developmental processes. These genes families include transcription factors (e.g. MADS-box genes, AP2 and ERFs), kinases, and hormonal biosynthesis enzymes. Despite the widespread use of phylogenetics in inferring relationships among members of multigene families, few theoretical studies address the challenges associated with inferring multigene family phylogenetic relationships. We have developed a probabilistic model of gene family evolution along a species tree in order to understand the powers and pitfalls of inferring multigene family phylogenetic relationships. Using this probabilistic model we have simulated a number of evolutionary scenarios motivated by biologically relevant examples. Results from our study indicate several challenging areas associated with the inference of multigene families and the diversification of gene function. Finally, we discuss how we are expanding our simulation analyses towards developing test statistics on the mode and tempo of gene family evolution.

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Related Links:
Zanis Lab Website

1 - Purdue University, Botany and Plant Pathology, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907

Multigene family
multigene phylogeny

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 5
Location: 554A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 5007
Abstract ID:591

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