séminaire du pôle évolution du vivant - vendredi 15 mai

Computing the tooth 

Jukka Jernvall, Jernvall Evo-Devo Lab, Institute of Biotechnology, université d'Helsinki

vendredi 15 mai, 11 heures, amphi Mariotte

Building on Cuvier’s Laws of Correlation of Parts, in the Origin of Species Darwin considered that there were “many unknown laws of correlation of growth” that could result in “unexpected” changes in the phenotype when under natural selection. Much of the progress in developmental genetics has built on discovering and explaining “unexpected” changes in the phenotype in response to changes at the genome level. Now the understanding of development is reaching a point where unexpected becomes if not expected, at least predictable. I will be discussing a quantitative model to predict the phenotypic response to developmental tinkering in mammalian teeth. The complexity of the genetic basis of individual tooth shape variation, serial shape variation along the tooth row, and variation among species is discussed. Just as Darwin foresaw, tinkering with development may cause unexpected and serendipitous changes in the phenotype. One may wonder whether the ability to predict these changes will put us one step closer to computing the whole organ from its genetic components.