Abstracts (first author)
Genomic patterns of experimental evolution of Drosophila lifespan
The genomic basis of molecular polymorphisms that underlie adaptive phenotypic differentiation remains poorly understood. A potentially very powerful approach towards resolving this fundamental problem is to combine experimental evolution with next generation sequencing (NGS). In the last two to three years, a handful of studies have begun to combine experimental evolution in Drosophila with NGS in order to uncover the genomic basis of phenotypic differentiation due to laboratory selection. In the first part of my talk, I will briefly review these recent efforts and highlight interesting aspects of their methods and results. In the second part of my talk, I will focus on the genomic basis of artificial selection for increased lifespan and late-life fertility in Drosophila. The first artificial selection experiments on Drosophila lifespan were carried out about 30 years ago by Michael Rose and Brian Charlesworth and, independently, by Leo Luckinbill and Robert Arking and collaborators. In 2011, Remolina et al. have performed the first analysis of genome-wide changes in response to 50 generations of artificial selection for increased lifespan in Drosophila. In their experiment, the authors identified many interesting longevity candidate genes that are associated with oogenesis, immunity, and proteolysis. I will compare their novel findings to our preliminary analysis of the genomes of the Luckinbill/Arking lines, which by now have undergone approximately 150 generations of laboratory selection for postponed senescence. I will address the key question of whether our study turns up the same candidates and pathways as found by Remolina and colleagues, or whether most candidates do not overlap, maybe because there exist many different genetic ways to evolve the same life history phenotype.