We would like to invite you to participate in the conference

Horizontal DNA transfer spurring evolution

The meeting takes place from May 15th to 17th, 2015 at the historic Leucorea in Wittenberg, Germany in frame of the German Genetics Society spring academy.

The growing number of fully sequenced genomes documents that multiple incidents of foreign DNA invasion exist in all kingdoms and across a broad range of phylogenetic distances. Hence the classical view that past evolutionary processes can be depicted as bifurcating trees and that genetic exchange is absent after speciation events does not always apply. It is likely that a broad range of taxa carries foreign DNA awaiting its decipherment. Foreign genetic material can contribute to evolutionary change and has facilitated transitions to parasitism as well as mutualism. A deeper understanding whether the transfer of genetic information among different species represents an anomaly without functional consequences or whether it spurs evolutionary change is of broad relevance to evaluate current ideas about genome evolution, the birth of new genes, genetic adaptation, speciation as well as anthropogenic effects.
We intended to bring together about 40 group leaders, postdocs and advanced PhD students from all over the world to discuss the fate of foreign DNA in an organism as well as dynamics of lateral transfers in time and space. This includes both proximate genetic changes but also the impacts for organismal evolution and adaptation to the environment.
The confirmed speakers will present a diversity of known as well as novel systems and will foster scientific exchange among researchers that study a large diversity of organisms and viruses:

 Jef Boeke [New York, USA] Retrotransposons in yeast and human genomes 
 John Coffin [Boston, USA] Endogenous retroviruses in human genomes
 Matthias Fischer [Heidelberg, DE] Virophages
 Clement Gilbert [Poitiers, FR] Virus mediated horizontal DNA transfer in insects
 Josefa González [Barcelona, ES] Adaptation via transposable element-induced mutations in Drosophila melanogaster
 Barbara Hohn [Basel, CH] Agrobacterium tumefaciens interaction with the plant genome
 Martin Maiden [Oxford, GB] Horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of bacterial pathogens
 Shijulal Nelson-Sathi [Düsseldorf, DE] Lateral gene transfer in prokaryotes
 Gerald Schönknecht [Oklahoma, USA] Lateral gene transfer in algae
 Trude Schwarzacher [Leicester, GB] Landscape of plant genomes
 Kornelia Smalla [Braunschweig, DE] Plasmid mediated horizontal gene transfer in bacterial adaptation and diversification in soil
 Karine Van Doninck [Namur, BE] Horizontal DNA transfer in rotifers

For details on the program please see  >> Program

Deadline for registration and abstract submission: 6th of May 2015

Julius Kühn-Institut - Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen (JKI) © JKI 2014