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Talk by Antonio Marco "On sex, mothers and microRNAs"

Détails de la réservation

Détails de l'évènement

   Antonio Marco

School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, United Kingdom

"On sex, mothers and microRNAs"



Sexual dimorphism is the consequence of differential gene expression. The causes and consequences of sex-biased expression have been extensively studied in protein-coding genes. However, the evolutionary impact of microRNAs, crucial non-coding regulatory molecules, remains largely unexplored. During this talk I will present our latest findings on this topic. Unlike protein-coding genes, male-biased microRNAs are preferentially located in the sex chromosomes. By studying male-biased microRNAs in other species we concluded that mutation rather than selection explains the uneven distribution of male-biased microRNAs in sex chromosomes. On the other hand, female-biased microRNAs are often produced from the introns of maternally deposited microRNAs. Indeed, a large fraction of female-biased microRNAs are maternally deposited, and have an important influence over the function and evolution of other maternal products. Strikingly, maternal gene transcripts tend to avoid being targeted by maternal microRNAs. This type of purifying selection against microRNA target sites is also observed in human populations, and may have an impact in the evolutionary dynamics of eukaryotic genomes. Finally, I will discuss some aspects about why microRNAs are often organized in clusters in the genome. Spoiler alert: adaptation has not much to do with it.   


  • Nom : Katarzyna Hooks