Seminar series agenda Autumn 2019

Date Name Topic
18.09.19 Guro Sandvik CRISPR: designer babies and dehorned cows
26.09.19 Pernille B. Eidesen Double up to succeed? Understanding mechanisms and evolutionary consequences of autopolyploidy
09.10.19 Olga Pawłowska Adaptation to transposable elements in Drosophila simulans.
22.10.19 Trevor Krabbenhoft Sequencing the suckers – a new model for studying WGD in fish
06.11.19 Hanne Dvergedal Towards an understanding of factors driving variation in feed efficiency in salmon (Salmo salar)
04.12.19 Susan Johnston Genetics of recombination

Presenters and abstracts

Wednesday 18th September 2019Sandvik Guro Katrine

Presenter: Guro K. Sandvik, CIGENE
Title: CRISPR: designer babies and dehorned cows

How to encourage the public to reject a revolutionizing technique with unlimited potential for science, environment and human welfare

Abstract: CRISPR is a fantastic new technique, and can be used to manipulate the DNA and RNA in ways we could only dream of a couple of years ago. In this talk, I will present some new exciting techniques and use some examples from my previous postdoc working with CRISPR in live mouse brain. Despite the huge potential this technique has for improving food production and medical treatment, the public view of this method is not always so positive, in part because eager scientists and companies use the technique prematurely. I will discuss some recent happenings that is increasing the public’s skepticism towards the CRISPR technique.

Thursday 26th September 2019Pernille-Bronken-Eidesen.jpg

Presenter: Pernille Bronken Eidesen
Title: Double up to succeed? Understanding mechanisms and evolutionary consequences of autopolyploidy

NB new time: 14:15-15:00

Abstract: The arctic flora is dominated by polyploids, and diversification through polyploidy seems particularly beneficial in extreme environments. Still, the direct effect of polyploidy, autopolyploidy in particular, on evolutionary development and success of a species is largely unknown. In this project we aim at reducing knowledge gaps regarding formation, establishment and niche divergence of autopolyploid lineages in natural systems. We have recently established a field-laboratory that include a set-up for autopolyploidy-research on the mixed ploidy species Saxifraga oppositifolia. Through combined molecular and field-based investigations we are adding new pieces to this fascinating puzzle.


Wednesday 09th October 2019Olga Pulouskaya

Presenter: Olga Pawłowska, CIGENE
Title: Adaptation to transposable elements in Drosophila simulans

Abstract: Transposable elements (TEs) are genomic parasites that proliferate within host genomes, and can also invade new species. The P-element, a DNA-based transposable element, recently invaded two Drosophila species: D. melanogaster in the 20th century, and D. simulans, in the 21st. In this talk I present analyses of D. simulans collected early and late in the invasion of the P-element that shed light on the role of silencing RNA molecules (piRNAs) during invasion of TEs.


Tuesday 22nd October 2019Trevor Krabbenhoft

Presenter: Trevor Krabbenhoft
Title: Sequening the suckers: a new teleost resource for understanding the evolution following whole genome duplication’



Wednesday 06th November 2019Hanne Dvergedal

Presenter: Hanne Dvergedal

Title: Towards an understanding of the genetics and physiology underlying variation in feed efficiency in salmon (Salmo salar)

Abstract An important trait for animal production is how efficiently animals convert their feed into muscle (referred to as feed efficiency). Even small improvements in feed efficiency could save large costs and improve sustainability of the animal production system. In salmon breeding however, individual records of fed efficiency have been lacking due to difficulties in measuring this trait. In this talk I present a new method to measure salmon feed efficiency using stable isotopes and use this method to perform QTL and gene expression analyses to identify genes and genomic regions associated with variation in this important production trait.

H. Dvergedal, J. Ødegård, M. Øverland, L.T. Mydland and G. Klemetsdal

Wednesday 4th of DecemberSusan Johnston

Presenter: Susan Johnston

Title: The evolution of recombination rate variation in wild populations

Abstract: Meiotic recombination is often essential for proper chromosome segregation and is an important driver of genetic diversity. The relative benefits and costs of recombination vary with selection and demography: if recombination rate itself is heritable, then it has the potential to evolve. Our research investigates the evolution of recombination rates in wild populations in Soay sheep (Ovis aries) and Red deer (Cervus elaphus) by identifying genes associated with recombination rate and examining their relationship with reproductive success and survival. I will also discuss the implications of these findings for understanding the evolutionary importance of recombination rate variation more broadly across taxa.

S.E. Johnston, C. Bérénos, J. Huisman, P. Ellis, J. Slate, J.M. Pemberton