Seminars and Events

Past Events

Category Seminar
Date and Time 2009-06-08 15:30 - 16:10
Venue Seminar Room A7F
Speaker Yoav Soen
Affiliation Weizmann Institute of Science
Title Induction and trans-generational inheritance of responses to a novel challenge presented to developing flies
Poster click here to download(PDF)
Host Shinichi Nishikawa
Summary It is widely accepted that many of the regulatory networks of development were shaped by evolution to support robust processes of development. How these networks cope with evolutionary unforeseen challenges is, however, largely unknown. While the ability to adapt to novel challenges may be crucial for the organism to evolve, direct experimental studies of it have been lacking. To address this gap we have developed an experimental framework to investigate the capacity of a multi-cellular organism to cope with an unforeseen challenge. The experimental framework is based on confronting the developmental network of the fly, D. melanogaster, with a (synthetically engineered) challenge for which no specific response was likely been selected during the evolutionary history of the fly. Analysis of responses to the challenge revealed a surprising ability of the larva to modify its course of development within the first generation of exposure. This modification coincided with complete tolerance to an otherwise lethal challenge and occurred, without selection, in every single larva. Importantly, the induced phenotypes were transmitted to every single offspring in subsequent generations that were not exposed to the challenge. We provide initial molecular characterization of the response and propose a conceptual model for its inheritance.