Abstract: Among all epigenetic modifications, gene body methylation (GBM) is the most studied but arguably the least understood in terms of its function. It is believed by many to facilitate rapid adaptation by introducing heritable gene expression modifications without changing the actual DNA sequence. In this talk I will review the existing evidence and describe our own research to substantiate the GBM’s role in gene regulation and transgenerational adaptation. The emerging story appears to be not quite what most sceintists expect.
Biography: Mikhail Matz got his PhD from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry in Moscow, Russia, in 1999. Between 2000 and 2010 he has worked on multicolored GFP-like fluorescent proteins from reef Anthozoa, which he first described in 1999. After joining the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 he has shifted his research to genomics of coral adaptation. His lab is known beyond coral biology for developing cost-efficient methods for genotyping (2b-RAD) and gene expression profiling (Tag-Seq) of non-model organisms. His most recent research is focused on potential for rapid adaptation via genetic rescue and the role DNA methylation can play in it. He is currently a full professor at UT Austin.