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Technische Universität München

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Sitemap > Veranstaltungen und Termine > Mobile genetic elements as drivers of evolutionary transitions and key contributors to the evolution of defence systems

Mobile genetic elements as drivers of evolutionary transitions and key contributors to the evolution of defence systems

Thursday 23.11.2017, 18:00 - 19:00



Veranstaltungsort:

Richard-Wagner-Str. 10, room C 006 (ground floor), 80333 München 

Vortragender
Dr. Eugene V. Koonin

Bioinformatics Colloquium

Mobile genetic elements (MGE) are ubiquitous satellites of cellular life forms. Their relationships with the cellular hosts vary from benign symbiosis as is the case for many transposons and plasmids, to acute antagonism in the case of lytic viruses. There are strong arguments, both empirical and theoretical, that emergence of genetic parasites is inevitable in replicator systems and that cellular organisms cannot evolve defence systems powerful enough to eliminate MGE. One of the important causes of the inevitability of MGE seems to be the trade-off between defence against genetic parasites and horizontal gene transfer that prevents population collapse via Muller’s ratchet. Apart from being parasites, MGE drive major evolutionary transitions, both through direct recruitment of MGE genes by cellular hosts and by promoting collective behaviour of the hosts, such as ‘altruistic’ programmed cell death. Under the ‘guns for hire’ concept, the MGE made particularly important contributions to the evolution of host defence systems through recruitment of key ‘weapons’, such as site-specific nucleases, as will be illustrated by the evolution of adaptive immunity, including both prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas systems and vertebrate immune system. Considering all of the above, one must conclude that host-parasite coevolution emerges is an intrinsic and inalienable feature of life, and one of the main drivers of its evolution.

Veranstalter
TUM

Ansprechpartner
Prof. Dmitrij Frishman


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