Seminar series on The Evolution of Genomic Architecture - Eduardo Rocha: Horizontal transfer: from gene acquisition to functional innovation

  • Date: Jan 21, 2020
  • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Eduardo Rocha from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France
  • For more information about the speaker, please see here:
  • Location: MPI Plön
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: Jenna Gallie & Julien Dutheil


Evolutionary processes are typically described as the result of mutation, descent and selection. Many microbes lack sexual reproduction but have the ability to acquire genetic information from very distantly related organisms. Horizontal gene transfer allows the instantaneous acquisition of new complex adaptive traits and their transmission to subsequent generations. This speeds up evolutionary processes as exemplified by the acquisition of virulence traits in emerging infectious agents and by antibiotic resistance in many human bacterial pathogens. In this talk, I'll describe how bacteria control and organize the influx of novel genetic information, and how this results not only in the spread of adaptive functions, but also on radical functional innovation.

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