MCB 5471: Current Topics in Molecular Evolution:  
                    Evolution through Genetic Exchange


Preliminary Schedule:  

For each of the classes, all students should read the article listed first, the others are optional and for the discussion leaders!
Discussion leaders should discuss their approach with the instructor at least 5 days before the discussion date. 
(Note: Many links to the reading materials require a subscription and only work from within UConn).

In addition, every student picks one of the topics listed below topic and wites a short paper about it (max. 4 pages 12pt Times Roman font) to be handed in before 5/6.

The grade will be based on participation, the presentation, and the short essay. Students also can request an additional oral exam (let me know before 5/7).

You should have access to class materials on HuskyCT. If you do not (after the beginning of classes) please send email to gogarten (at) uconn.edu with your name and your netID.


Date

Topic

Discussion-Leader

1/26

Overview,
Modern Synthesis versus Mutationism.
"The Struggle for Existence" vs "Mutual Aid"

Reading materials:

J. Peter Gogarten

2/2

Mobile genetic elements: the agents of open source evolution
Mechanisms of gene transfer between lineages I:
Transformation, transduction, conjugation
, introgression, the weak link hypothesis

Reading materials:

Emily Stassen

2/9

Mechanisms of gene transfer between lineages II:
Gene transfer agents

Reading materials:

Emily Stassen

J. Peter Gogarten

2/16

 

Selfish DNA I: Molecular Parasites (homing endonucleases, introns, transposons)

Reading materials:

Joshua Skydel

2/23

Selfish DNA II: Selfish operon theory

Reading materials:

Michael Miano

3/2

Beneficial viruses, viruses as weapons, viral mutualistic symbioses

Reading materials:

Sean Pearson
3/9

Evolution of the Holobiont – Symbiont transmission pathways, hologenome evolution by natural selection

Reading materials:

Michael Stephens

3/16

Spring Break

 

3/23

“Speciation” through gene transfer. 
(Examples: plant parasitic nematodes, Bacillus anthraces and Mycobacterium ulcerans)

Reading materials:

Special reading materials for next week:

Jessica Strein

3/30

Speciation through Hybridization, Hybridization barriers

Reading materials:

Chelsea Otis

4/6

Re-evaluating prokaryotic species

Reading materials:

Jeff O'Brian

4/13

Evolution of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance;
Bacterial competition: surviving and thriving in the microbial jungle

Reading materials:

Andrea Suria

4/20

Origin of Eukaryotes

Reading materials:

Sonny Caplash

4/27

Gene exchange bias and the maintenance of higher order taxonomic units

Reading materials:

Lauren Stanley

5/7

Written essay due today