SysGen Seminar – Charles Robin – 12th May, 2017


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Andrew Siebel

T: +61 3 8344 0707

Charles Robin

School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne

Friday 12th May
FW Jones Theatre, 3rd Floor, Medical Building, The University of Melbourne

The System Genetics of some Adaptive Traits of Drosophila melanogaster

When insects evolve resistance to insecticides they threaten crop production and disease control measures and that can motivate altered pest control strategies that often impact negatively on the natural environment. Insecticide resistance also provides an evolutionary model of adaptation that features large and natural populations and a defined selective agent. Both of these contexts benefit from a deeper understanding of the genetic basis of insecticide resistance. In this presentation, I will present our analyses of insecticide resistance phenotypes of the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel, which is an outstanding systems genetic resource. Scans of selective sweeps across the genome reveal that insecticide resistant loci contain some of the strongest footprints of recent selection. Functional variants have been identified by transgenic manipulation and they include copy number variation, complex rearrangements, transposable elements, and triallelic variants. Furthermore, Genome Wide Association Studies, eQTLs and Transcriptome-to-Phenotype associations reveal networks of genes that provide insights into the biology that is perturbed by different classes of insecticides. Finally, I will discuss how gene drive technology can be used to manipulate the genetic architecture segregating within an experimental population and ultimately inform models of adaptive evolution.

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