SMBE satellite meeting on evolution of microbes in natural and experimental populations- synthesis and synergies.
Evolutionary research on microbes tends to adopt either one of two strategies; experimental evolution (EE) in the laboratory or studying variation within natural populations. Microbes are highly amenable to experimental evolution, and this approach has successfully addressed a broad range of questions, including adaptive dynamics, the repeatability of evolution, social interactions, and the distribution of fitness effects.
Whole-genome sequencing of large samples from wild populations are similarly underpinning rapid advances in understanding how genome dynamics (such as the role of horizontal gene transfer and the pan-genome) underpin adaptation and ecological interactions. These two perspectives should, in principal, provide mutual reinforcement, as each addresses the potential weaknesses of the other; EE studies offer a controlled but artificial environment, whereas studies on natural populations are inherently more complex yet more realistic. This meeting will aim to bridge the gap between these approaches and build upon synergies and reciprocal benefits. The meeting will include a session on ‘Big Data’ analysis and microbial genomics supported by MRC-CLIMB (Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial bioinformatics).
Venue: The meeting will be held in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India.
Dates: 14-16 December 2017.