NOVEL: Emergence of novel phenotypes in co-evolving biological systems: allelic diversification and dominance at the Self-incompatibility locus in Arabidopsis.
- Vincent Castric
Unité Evo-Eco-Paléo (EEP) - UMR 8198
CNRS / Université de Lille - Sciences et Technologies
Batiment SN2, bureau 207
59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq - FRANCE
- Isabelle Loisy - Thierry Gaude
Laboratory « Reproduction et Developpement des Plantes »
ENS Lyon CNRS - France
- Jacinthe Azevedo - Thierry Lagrange
Laboratory « Genome et Developpement des Plantes »
UMR 5096 (UPVD/CNRS) - Perpignan - France
The emerging field of systems biology is revealing the intricate nature of biological organisms, whereby a large fraction of their individual components (genes, proteins, regulatory elements) interact with several others. The co-evolutionary processes that this entails raises the question of how phenotypic novelty may arise in the course of evolution, since all parts of the system have to evolve in a coordinated manner if the phenotype is to remain functional. For most biological systems, however, we are lacking even basic insight into the fine-scale mechanistic constraints and the underlying ecological context. In this project, we will focus on the sporophytic self-incompatibility system in outcrossing Arabidopsis species, a model biological system in which two distinct co-evolutionary processes are becoming well-understood: 1) between the male and female reproductive proteins allowing self-pollen recognition and rejection and 2) between small non-coding RNAs and their target sites that jointly control the dominance/recessivity interactions between self-incompatibility alleles. By studying these two model systems, we will aim to catch the emergence of functional and regulatory novelty in flagrante delicto. We will take a multidisciplinary approach combining theoretical and empirical population genetics, evolutionary genomics and ancestral protein resurrection using transgenic plants. Our goal is threefold: 1) decrypt the molecular alphabet of the interaction between co-evolving nucleotide sequences, 2) predict and evaluate the fitness landscapes upon which the two co-evolutionary processes are taking place and 3) exploit natural variation in closely related species to unveil the kind of co-evolutionary process in natural populations. Our combination of various powerful approaches in a tractable model system should provide insight on diversification, a poorly understood but fundamental evolutionary process that is taking place at all levels of organization.
This project is an extension of the project BRASSIDOM
BAC library construction and screening
Publications related to the project: