séminaire du vendredi

"Computing the tooth" - Jukka Jernvall, University of Helsinki - vendredi 15 mai à 11h, Bât. Gabriel, amphi Mariotte
Building on Cuvier’s Laws of Correlation of Parts, in the Origin of Species Darwin considered that there were “many unknown laws of correlation of growth” that could result in “unexpected” changes in the phenotype when under natural selection. Much of the progress in developmental genetics has built on discovering and explaining “unexpected” changes in the phenotype in response to changes at the genome level. Now the understanding of development is reaching a point where unexpected becomes if not expected, at least predictable. I will be discussing a quantitative model to predict the phenotypic response to developmental tinkering in mammalian teeth. The complexity of the genetic basis of individual tooth shape variation, serial shape variation along the tooth row, and variation among species is discussed.
Just as Darwin foresaw, tinkering with development may cause unexpected and serendipitous changes in the phenotype. One may wonder whether the ability to predict these changes will put us one step closer to computing the whole organ from its genetic components.

Jukka Jernvall
University of Helsinki