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Evolution of gene control networks

Biochemical approaches are clarifying mechanism controlling gene transcription via transcription factors and histone modification, and bioinformatics (Blanchette, Hallett, Majewski) is making contributions by analyzing conserved sequences and thus identifying regulatory regions of genomes. Yet the evolution of function in genetic networks is still poorly understood. Modelling studies of gene networks (Glass, Mackey) with experimentalist (Abouheif) is identifying how similar phenotypes can arise from multiple mutations at different control points in the genome. But the underlying principles for evolving control of gene expression as evolution proceeds are still open. Similar potassium channels are present in heart and nerve, but the control of expression in both must be different and must have co-evolved. The Centre will facilitate and integrate bioinformatics approaches with evolutionary and developmental studies.