Spring Seminar Series, Thursday with Prof. Steven Roberts

Please join the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences for its Spring Seminar Series. The SAFS seminar series consists of weekly presentations by eminent academics, prospective faculty members and the School’s own faculty members. Seminars are free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 4 PM
Social immediately follows

University of Washington
Fishery Sciences Building
Room 102
1122 NE Boat Street
Seattle, Washington (map)

View the full seminar schedule.

For more information, please contact SAFS Front Desk, safsdesk@uw.edu, or 206-543-4270.


Does DNA Methylation Facilitate Genome Diversity and Phenotypic Plasticity in Marine Invertibrates?

There is an amazing amount of diversity incorporated into the genome of oysters and other marine invertebrates including vastly expanded gene families, high mutation rates, and numerous mobile elements. These are certainly a benefit to broadcast spawners living in fluctuating environments. Recent work examining DNA methylation is revealing new insight into similar diversity at the epigenetic level. The function of DNA methylation in species such as bivalves where the limited amount of DNA methylation is predominantly found in gene bodies is not completely understood. An emerging possible explanation is that the role of gene body DNA methylation is dependent on gene function, a potential phenomenon that has arisen from selective pressure on lineage-specific life history traits. Specifically, in genes contributing to phenotypes that benefit from increased plasticity, the absence of DNA methylation could contribute to stochastic transcriptional opportunities and increased transposable element activity. I will present data from our lab supporting these hypotheses, new data demonstrating evidence of inheritance of DNA methylation patterns, and together how this could change how we consider physiology, ecology, and evolution.



Prof. Roberts’ research addresses issues concerning aquaculture and natural resource conservation using a comparative genomic approach. By studying the expressed portion of an organism’s genome he hopes to gain a better understanding of responses to physiological and environmental change. These molecular-based approaches are revealing amazing adaptive traits in aquatic organisms and surprising conservation of signaling pathways across taxas.





The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at 206-543-6450/V, 206-543-6452/TTY, 206-685-7264 (FAX); dso@u.washington.edu.

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