DIMACS Conference on Effects of Genome Structure and Sequence on the Generation of Variation and Evolution

August 9 - 11, 2011
CoRE Auditorium, CoRE Building, Rutgers University

Lynn Caporale, Conference Chair
Stephen Benkovic, Pennsylvania State University
Giorgio Bernardi, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Gyan Bhanot, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton
Laura Landweber, Princeton University
Nancy Maizels, University of Washington School of Medicine
Richard Moxon, Oxford University
Advisory committee:
Guna Rajagopal, The Cancer Institute of NJ (CINJ)
Fred Roberts, DIMACS, Rutgers University
Presented under the auspices of the DIMACS/BioMaPS/MB Center Special Focus on Information Processing in Biology.

The structure of DNA is not monotonous, but rather varies along its sequence, sometimes dramatically so. Such variation in structure leads to sequence-dependent variations in the fidelity of DNA copying and repair. That the probability of distinct classes of mutations varies along a DNA sequence has implications for evolutionary theory because selection acts on heritable variation when this variation affects fitness. Highly mutable sequences have, in fact, evolved in genome regions such as those encoding pathogen coats where increased diversity in a population favors survival. The fidelity of DNA replication and repair is both sequence-dependent and affected by the activities of multiple enzymes (which can be induced by environmental or cell-type specific factors).

Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly obvious that information is represented in DNA in forms that are not obvious when DNA is analyzed as if it actually were comprised of a sequence of letters. Often it is the conformation of DNA (or RNA) or the relationship among sequences that carries the information.

This conference will bring together a broad interdisciplinary group of researchers to explore the impact of increasing understanding of DNA structure, repair, replication, and organization on interrelated subjects ranging from evolution to dependence of the effect of mutagens on environmental and sequence context, to non-canonical forms of information representation in genomes.

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Document last modified on October 20, 2010.