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Minimal and Ancestral Genomes

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Caroline Newnham.

Host: Richard Durbin

Minimal genome is a construct of biochemical engineering; it is a cell that may survive under given growth conditions with the smallest amount of genetic material, and the research question here is how to determine what that material should be. Ancestral genome is a construct of evolutionary inference; it is a cell that may represent the last common ancestor of a given set of evolutionary lineages, and the question here is how to retrodict what the ancestral genome was. Different as the two questions are, the answers to both of them are provided with the aid of computational biology, when the genomes of many species known today are compared to each other. I will discuss what has been learned about minimal and ancestral genomes thus far in the course of my own computational biology research as well as the computational and experimental work done by many others.

This talk is part of the Genetics Seminar series.

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