2023-03-07 Seminar Report

We had the pleasure to have Dr. Adrián González-Casanova (Neyman Visiting Assistant Professor, The University of California, Berkeley, USA / Associate Professor, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico) in our Biology seminar of January 19th, 2023. He presented us a talk consisting of two sections. First, he explained to us the basis of the coalescent theory: a model that depicts how alleles within a population relate each other until reaching a common ancestor. Second, he presented us how the coalescent theory can be used to explain and predict the behavior of one of the most intriguing experiments in evolutionary biology: the Lenski experiment. The Lenski experiment consists of a daily cultivation of E. coli; each day's culture is grown from a population cultivated the previous day. This, way, after thousand generations, the experiment has shown that the fitness increase of individuals is decelerating, but it doesn't decrease or even reach a plateau. Dr. González-Casanova presented us some ideas of how we can model the underlying biological processes behind the experiment while considering other noisy processes such as epistasis or clonal interference, and thus better understand how evolution occurs.

Reported by José Said Gutiérrez-Ortega

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