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BiRC Online seminar: Lucie Bergeron

Functional Genomic Lab, University of Copenhagen

Info about event


Friday 23 April 2021,  at 14:15 - 15:00




BiRC & Mikkel Schierup

Title: Variation in germline mutation rate in vertebrates and evolutionary implication   


Germline mutations are the fuel for evolution. The rise of Next Generation Sequencing has allowed estimating germline mutation rates based on the whole-genome comparison of individuals from pedigrees (i.e. mother, father, and offspring). Only a few studies have been published on non-human species, yet, they revealed large variation in germline mutation rate between species.

I will present two chapter of my PhD thesis in which I explored the germline mutation rate of several vertebrate species using the pedigree-based methods. In the first chapter, I studied the germline mutational processes of a primate species the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) and the phylogenetic implication. Especially we discussed the possible causes of discrepancy with traditional dating methods based on fossil records. In a second chapter, we estimated the germline mutation rate of 68 species of vertebrates and explored the various hypotheses that have been proposed to explain how selective pressures are driving the germline mutation rate evolution. We found that the most significant life history trait was the number of offspring per generation with species producing several offspring per generation also having high yearly mutation rates.
Altogether, this work contributes to the understanding of the germline mutation rate across vertebrate species and the evolutionary forces that may drive their variation.