Analysing the dynamics of gene regulatory adaptation in fission yeast

Max Reuter (primary)
Genetics, Evolution and Environment
University College London
Jürg Bähler (secondary)
Genetics, Evolution and Environment
University College London


Genome regulation is key to organisms’ capacity to buffer environmental fluctuations by expressing plastic changes to their phenotypes. Although fundamental to the genotype-phenotype map, many aspects of gene regulation and its evolution remain poorly understood. This project will fill some of these gaps. We will employ a tightly controlled experimental system in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe to study the dynamics of regulatory evolution. The research will allow us to better understand how adaptive trajectories of regulatory mechanisms depend on the interplay between selection pressures, mutational input and the topology of existing regulatory networks.


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Poelwijk et al. (2011) Tradeoffs and optimality in the evolution of gene regulation. Cell 146:462-70.
Yi and Dean (2016) Phenotypic plasticity as an adaptation to a functional trade-off. eLife 5:e19307.
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Duveau et al. (2017) Effects of mutation and selection on plasticity of a promoter activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PNAS 114:E11218-E11227.
Hodgins_Davis et al. (2019) Empirical measures of mutational effects define neutral models of regulatory evolution in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. bioRxiv,

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyEvolutionGeneticsMicrobiology
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsGeneticsMathematics / StatisticsMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling