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Keystone conference on Natural Genetic Variation

Detlef Weigel weigel at weigelworld.org
Tue Oct 14 11:23:14 EST 2003

Dear All,

I would like to draw your attention to a conference that will be of 
interest to anybody interested in genetic variation within and 
between species.  The number of attendees is limited, so I urge you 
to consider registering soon.

Keystone Conference on Natural Variation and Quantitative Genetics in 
Model Organisms

Organizers: Detlef Weigel and Bruce Walsh
January 8 - 13, 2004
Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge, Colorado
Early Registration Deadline: November 10, 2003

Despite tremendous advances in the genetic analysis of many 
biological processes, the molecular basis of the variation seen 
within and between species remains largely unknown. Standard genetic 
analyses in model organisms have focused on laboratory-induced 
mutations with large phenotypic effects, which contrasts with the 
variation seen in natural populations, which is mostly continuous. 
The phenotypic variation seen within or between closely related 
species also contrasts with the phenotypic variation seen between 
more distantly related species. It seems likely, however, that intra- 
and interspecific variation are two sides of the same coin, although 
a unifying molecular framework has not yet been developed. Now is an 
exciting time to revisit these questions because of several major 
technological advances. These include new analytical tools, such as 
high-throughput genotyping, new statistical and computational 
methods, comprehensive transcriptome and proteome profiling, as well 
as opportunities to compare entire genomes between closely and 
distantly related organisms. Understanding the molecular basis of 
natural variation has important implications both for understanding 
the evolution of new traits, as well as for understanding how 
selection has shaped genomes, including the human genome.

The meeting will have as a major focus both animal and plant model 
organisms, in which the use of quantitative genetics is experiencing 
a renaissance. A second focus of the meeting will be recent 
discoveries of how changes in key regulatory factors cause major 
phenotypic differences in more distantly related taxa. The overall 
goal of this meeting is to bring together a diverse group of 
investigators that includes scientists interested in the evolution of 
developmental diversity, quantitative geneticists and population 
geneticists. Finally, the meeting, which will focus on genetic model 
organisms such as Drosophila and Arabidopsis, will be an excellent 
complement to the meeting that is to be held concurrently, on Human 
Genetic Diversity.

Detlef Weigel
Department of Molecular Biology
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
Spemannstrasse 37-39
D-72076 Tübingen

Voice +49-(0)179-676 9032 (cell)
Voice +49-(0)7071-601 1410 (direct)
Voice +49-(0)7071-601 1411 (Hülya Wicher, administrative assistant)
FAX   +49-(0)7071-601 1409 (direct) or 1412 (administrative assistant)

Email weigel at weigelworld.org


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