The Evolution of Gene Regulatory Networks in Animal Development (GRN Evolution)

Venue: Institut Francais Vienne

Location: Vienna, Austria

Event Date/Time: Sep 11, 2012 End Date/Time: Sep 14, 2012
Registration Date: Jul 30, 2012
Early Registration Date: Jul 01, 2012
Abstract Submission Date: Jul 30, 2012
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How the enormous diversity of animal body plans evolved is still one of the biggest questions in biology. Genetic studies and comparative genomics have impressively shown in the last decade that most important developmental regulators are highly conserved between insects and vertebrates and even in non-bilaterian animals such as cnidarians. Generally, it has been realized that the presence or absence of individual genes can not explain the evolution of novel morphological structures, organs or cell types. Hence, it is likely that the evolution of gene regulatory networks contributed significantly to the morphological evolution. Recent advancements in non-model organisms allow now for functional and genome-wide analysis of conserved transcription factors and signaling pathways and the comparison between closely as well as distantly related animal species. In this workshop, which is the final symposium of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network "EVONET", we seek to bring together a number of outstanding scientists in the field of Evolutionary Biology, Systems Biology and Developmental Biology.
New sequencing technologies and the publication of several completed genome sequences from a number of emerging or non-model systems now allow for the first time to investigate how gene regulatory networks (GRNs) evolved by comparison among a wide range of organisms. It is timely to bring these emerging data from various labs together in order to create a basis for our understanding of how the diversity of body plans, tissues and cell types evolved by changes of the GRNs. So far, Systems Biology mainly focused on detailed analysis within one cell, while evolutionary biology and developmental biology emphasized the role of single genes in morphogenesis and differentiation. It is time to unite these disciplines to come to a new level of understanding. Further, this workshop is intended to attract numerous young researchers in order to inspire them in their future research plans.


Währinger Strasse 30, 1090