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The Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution is an international organization whose goals are to provide facilities for association and communication among molecular evolutionists and to further the goals of molecular evolution, as well as its practitioners and teachers. In order to accomplish these goals, the Society publishes two peer-reviewed journals, Molecular Biology and Evolution and Genome Biology and Evolution. The Society sponsors an annual meeting, as well as smaller satellite meetings or workshop on important, focused, and timely topics. It also confers honors and awards to students and researchers.


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Each year, SMBE provides funds in aid for SMBE SATELLITE, INTERDISCIPLINARY AND REGIONAL MEETINGS.These meetings are organized and held independent of the SMBE annual meeting.

SMBE is now calling for proposals for meetings and actions to be held between Jan 2024 and Dec 31st 2024. Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis to members of the molecular evolution research community to run workshops/meetings on an important, focused, and timely topic of their choice.The number of awards will depend on the quality of proposals and total cost.

The deadline for submission of proposals is August 15 2023. Decisions will be communicated to the applicants mid-september 2023. 

List of upcoming and previous SATELLITE/INTERDISCIPLINARY/REGIONAL SMBE meetings:

  • Upcoming meetings HERE.

  • Please also consult our archive for further information on previous satellite, regional and interdisciplinary meetings HERE

  • Participants of Satellite/Interdisciplinary/Regional meetings are eligible for SMBE Caregiver Award, more info HERE.


These are workshops or small, topically focused meetings with fewer than 100 participants that are organized and held independent of the SMBE annual meeting. In the past five years, SMBE has supported multiple satellite meetings on diverse topics, a sample of our most recent Satellite meetings include:

  • Evolutionary and genomic consequences of drive 2023
  • De novo gene birth 2023
  • Molecular evolution in small populations 2023
  • “Fungal pathogens” 2022
  • “Molecular Biology and Evolution of Cancer” 2019
  • “Towards an integrated concept of adaptation: uniting molecular population genetics and quantitative genetics” 2019
  • “Molecular evolution and the cell” 2018
  • “Genome Evolution in Pathogen Transmission and Disease” 2018
  • “Modern Methods for the study of ancient DNA” 2018


SMBE will promote interdisciplinary research and extend its actions worldwide by sponsoring (1) joint meetings with meetings of other societies; symposia or plenary lectures on molecular biology and evolution at meetings whose primary focus is not molecular evolution; (2) regional meetings outside the US/Canada, Europe, and Japan; (3) small regional meetings in the US/Canada, Europe, or Japan targeted towards PhD students and postdocs with the purpose of helping them develop their presentation skills and facilitate networking.

Most recent SMBE Regional and Interdisciplinary meetings were:

  • “Mexico Population Genomics meeting”, Mexico, June 2023
  • “Molecular evolution”, India, 2023
  • “PopGeneChina”, China 2022
  • “The Role of the Genome in Biological Invasion”, New Zealand , 2022
  • Regional Meeting South America, Uruguay, November 2022
  • “Israeli Society of Evolutionary Biology inaugural meeting”, Israel, December 2019.
  • “Evolutionary genomics at the human-environment interface", Malawi, September 2019 (regional)
  • “Population Genomics of Mobile DNA”, USA, 2019 (interdisciplinary)
  • “Regional workshop on Computational Biology”, Mexico, 2019
  • “Satellite workshop on Genome Evolution in Pathogen Transmission and Disease”, Japan, 2018 



Satellite meetings:

  • SMBE will provide financial support for up to 80% of the costs, up to a maximum of $40,000 USD per meeting (most meetings are funded at $20,000-$30,000 each). In addition, SMBE will cover the cost of 2 plenary lectures per meeting, with each being able to claim up to a maximum of $3,500 USD per lecture for hotel and intercontinental travel (more than 5 hours of flight) and a maximum of $2,500 USD for "local" travel (i.e., less than 5 hours of flight). Including more than 2 plenary lectures per meeting would require specific justification.

  • Timely topics not well represented in symposia of SMBE annual meetings will be favored over those that are already well represented at the annual meetings or previous SMBE satellite meetings. 

Regional and interdisciplinary meetings:

  • SMBE will provide financial support for up to 100% of the costs for the, up to a maximum of $25,000 USD per meeting outside US/Canada, Europe and Japan and up to $10,000 USD for meetings in US/Canada, Europe, or Japan. In addition, SMBE will cover the cost of two plenary lectures per meeting, with each being able to claim up to a maximum of $3,500 USD per lecture for hotel and intercontinental travel (more than 5 hours of flight) and a maximum of $2,500 USD for "local" travel (i.e., less than 5 hours of flight). 

  • Meetings/symposia/lectures will be selected based on the scientific importance, timeliness and anticipated impact on the fields of molecular biology, genome biology, and evolution.

  • Proposals for meetings to be organized in geographical areas that have been traditionally under-represented in SMBE meetings (annual or satellite) are especially encouraged.


  • At least one of the organizers must be a member of SMBE. Current SMBE Council members, or members who have rotated-off Council in the last calendar year, are not eligible to serve as meeting organizers or co-organizers.


  • A detailed projected budget, including the expected number of participants, travel/food/lodging costs, and registration fees must be submitted with the application. Please note that SMBE funds cannot be used for indirect costs or overhead costs.

  • Proposals should strive to be inclusive and outline strategies for hybrid/virtual meetings, also in response to the dynamic COVID situation. All talks are expected to be made available to the SMBE community as recordings.  

  • Events will be named “SMBE Satellite Meeting on XYZ”, or “SMBE Interdisciplinary Meeting/Symposium/Lecture” or “SMBE Regional Meeting in XYZ(Geographic Location)”. Meeting organizers should host a website for the meeting that highlights the main theme as well as the program, including the speaker list. This website should stay active for at least 3 years after the meeting date. Symposium and lecture organizers should provide a link to be advertised on the SMBE webpage. The sponsorship of the SMBE must be mentioned in all pre-meeting publicity and in the meeting program.

  • Meetings must be standalone events, should not form a symposium or other part of a larger meeting and should not immediately follow or precede any other meeting at a given location.

Evaluation of proposals:

  • Proposals will be received and reviewed by two SMBE Council Members that will make a recommendation to SMBE Council, whose decision is final. The SMBE Council may decide not to support any meetings in any particular year. The selection committee may contact the proposers for clarifications during the reviewing process and a timely response will be required. A proposal that was unsuccessful can be re-submitted upon consultation with the selection committee (contacts provided below).

Post-meeting expectations:

  • Organizers will be required to submit a copy of the final program and a short (~2 page) summary of the workshop/symposium/meeting organization and financial aspects to SMBE Council within 3 months of the event. The summary should be sent to the executive administrator of the society Lulu Stader (
  • Organizers will be required to submit a brief scientific report on their meeting for publication on the SMBE website or, alternatively, in one of the SMBE journals after consultation with the editorial board. A concise financial report outlining the use of funds is also expected but will not be published.
  • Please note that 90% of the funds will be transferred to the organizers at the point of acceptance of the proposal (or as soon as needed thereafter), whereas the remaining 10% will be made available upon receiving the scientific and financial reports.

  • Unused funds (e.g. for plenary speaker travel allowance) should be transferred back to SMBE within 3 months of the event


Satellite meeting/workshop proposals should be sent by email to the executive administrator of the society Lulu Stader ( and will be considered by the selection committee comprising council members Christian Landry ( and Katerina Guschanski (

The deadline for submission of proposals is August 15th 2023.

1. Provide the name(s), gender, career stage, and full contact information for all organizer(s) and the name of the institution(s) involved.
Universities/organizations providing additional financial support, if involved, should also be listed. If additional funding is being simultaneously applied for, please state the status of that request as well. Please specify organizers who are SMBE members.

2. Workshop/meeting summary (4 single-spaced pages max). Describe the scientific rationale for your proposed workshop. In doing so, be sure to clearly state (1) the importance and timeliness of the topic; (2) the anticipated short-term and long-term impacts of your meeting or workshop on the fields of molecular biology, genome biology, and evolution; (3) the proposed structure of your workshop/meeting (e.g., lectures only, lectures + hands-on training sessions, contributed talks, poster sessions, etc.); (4) an indicative list of proposed invited speakers including their gender, geographical origin and career stage; (5) for satellite meetings only: why a workshop/small meeting format is preferable to a symposium at the SMBE annual meeting; (6) for interdisciplinary actions only: the relevance of mixing communities (for joint meetings, symposia and plenary lectures at non-evolution meetings); (7) for regional meetings outside the US/Canada, Europe, and Japan only: the relevance of promoting actions in specific regions; (8) for small regional meetings in the US/Canada, Europe, and Japan only: the extent and nature of student/postdoctoral fellow involvement; (9) for regional meetings: considerations of current COVID related travel restrictions, if they apply.  

3. Financial summary. Please summarize your financial request, including estimated total budget, registration costs (if any), travel support for speakers / trainees, costs of the venue (if any), and details of non-SMBE funds to be used.

  • Thursday, May 18, 2023
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Molecular Biology and Evolution

Correction: Sex Differences in 20-Hydroxyecdysone Hormone Levels Control Sexual Dimorphism in Bicyclus anynana Wing Patterns

Tue, 06 Jun 2023 00:00:00 GMT

This is a correction to: Shivam Bhardwaj and others, Sex Differences in 20-Hydroxyecdysone Hormone Levels Control Sexual Dimorphism in Bicyclus anynana Wing Patterns, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Volume 35, Issue 2, February 2018, Pages 465–472,

An Ancestral Balanced Inversion Polymorphism Confers Global Adaptation

Tue, 23 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT

Since the pioneering work of Dobzhansky in the 1930s and 1940s, many chromosomal inversions have been identified, but how they contribute to adaptation remains poorly understood. In Drosophila melanogaster, the widespread inversion polymorphism In(3R)Payne underpins latitudinal clines in fitness traits on multiple continents. Here, we use single-individual whole-genome sequencing, transcriptomics, and published sequencing data to study the population genomics of this inversion on four continents: in its ancestral African range and in derived populations in Europe, North America, and Australia. Our results confirm that this inversion originated in sub-Saharan Africa and subsequently became cosmopolitan; we observe marked monophyletic divergence of inverted and noninverted karyotypes, with some substructure among inverted chromosomes between continents. Despite divergent evolution of this inversion since its out-of-Africa migration, derived non-African populations exhibit similar patterns of long-range linkage disequilibrium between the inversion breakpoints and major peaks of divergence in its center, consistent with balancing selection and suggesting that the inversion harbors alleles that are maintained by selection on several continents. Using RNA-sequencing, we identify overlap between inversion-linked single-nucleotide polymorphisms and loci that are differentially expressed between inverted and noninverted chromosomes. Expression levels are higher for inverted chromosomes at low temperature, suggesting loss of buffering or compensatory plasticity and consistent with higher inversion frequency in warm climates. Our results suggest that this ancestrally tropical balanced polymorphism spread around the world and became latitudinally assorted along similar but independent climatic gradients, always being frequent in subtropical/tropical areas but rare or absent in temperate climates.

A Caenorhabditis elegans Male Pheromone Feminizes Germline Gene Expression in Hermaphrodites and Imposes Life-History Costs

Sat, 20 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT

Sex pheromones not only improve the reproductive success of the recipients, but also impose costs, such as a reduced life span. The underlying mechanisms largely remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that even a brief exposure to physiological amounts of the dominant Caenorhabditis elegans male pheromone, ascr#10, alters the expression of thousands of genes in hermaphrodites. The most dramatic effect on the transcriptome is the upregulation of genes expressed during oogenesis and the downregulation of genes associated with male gametogenesis. This result reveals a way in which social signals help to resolve the inherent conflict between spermatogenesis and oogenesis in a simultaneous hermaphrodite, presumably to optimally align reproductive function with the presence of potential mating partners. We also found that exposure to ascr#10 increased the risk of persistent intestinal infections in hermaphrodites due to pathological pharyngeal hypertrophy. Thus, our study reveals ways in which the male pheromone can not only have beneficial effects on the recipients’ reproduction, but also cause harmful consequences that reduce life span.

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Genome Biology & Evolution

Near-Chromosomal-Level Genome Assembly of the Sea Urchin Echinometra lucunter, a Model for Speciation in the Sea

Wed, 07 Jun 2023 00:00:00 GMT

Echinometra lucunter, the rock-boring sea urchin, is a widely distributed echinoid and a model for ecological studies of reproduction, responses to climate change, and speciation. We present a near chromosome-level genome assembly of E. lucunter, including 21 scaffolds larger than 10 Mb predicted to represent each of the chromosomes of the species. The 760.4 Mb assembly includes a scaffold N50 of 30.0 Mb and BUSCO (benchmarking universal single-copy orthologue) single copy and a duplicated score of 95.8% and 1.4%, respectively. Ab-initio gene model prediction and annotation with transcriptomic data constructed 33,989 gene models composing 50.4% of the assembly, including 37,036 transcripts. Repetitive elements make up approximately 39.6% of the assembly, and unresolved gap sequences are estimated to be 0.65%. Whole genome alignment with Echinometra sp. EZ revealed high synteny and conservation between the two species, further bolstering Echinometra as an emerging genus for comparative genomics studies. This genome assembly represents a high-quality genomic resource for future evolutionary and developmental studies of this species and more broadly of echinoderms.

A High Frequency of Chromosomal Duplications in Unicellular Algae Is Compensated by Translational Regulation

Tue, 23 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT

Although duplications have long been recognized as a fundamental process driving major evolutionary innovations, direct estimates of spontaneous chromosome duplication rates, leading to aneuploid karyotypes, are scarce. Here, from mutation accumulation (MA) experiments, we provide the first estimates of spontaneous chromosome duplication rates in six unicellular eukaryotic species, which range from 1 × 10−4 to 1 × 10−3 per genome per generation. Although this is ∼5 to ∼60 times less frequent than spontaneous point mutations per genome, chromosome duplication events can affect 1–7% of the total genome size. In duplicated chromosomes, mRNA levels reflected gene copy numbers, but the level of translation estimated by polysome profiling revealed that dosage compensation must be occurring. In particular, one duplicated chromosome showed a 2.1-fold increase of mRNA but translation rates were decreased to 0.7-fold. Altogether, our results support previous observations of chromosome-dependent dosage compensation effects, providing evidence that compensation occurs during translation. We hypothesize that an unknown posttranscriptional mechanism modulates the translation of hundreds of transcripts from genes located on duplicated regions in eukaryotes.

T Residues Preceded by Runs of G Are Hotspots of T→G Mutation in Bacteria

Mon, 22 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT

The rate of mutation varies among positions in a genome. Local sequence context can affect the rate and has different effects on different types of mutation. Here, I report an effect of local context that operates to some extent in all bacteria examined: the rate of T→G mutation is greatly increased by preceding runs of three or more G residues. The strength of the effect increases with the length of the run. In Salmonella, in which the effect is strongest, a G run of length three 3 increases the rate by a factor of ∼26, a run of length 4 increases it by almost a factor of 100, and runs of length 5 or more increase it by a factor of more than 400 on average. The effect is much stronger when the T is on the leading rather than the lagging strand of DNA replication. Several observations eliminate the possibility that this effect is an artifact of sequencing error.

Genome-Wide Discovery of Structural Variants Reveals Distinct Variant Dynamics for Two Closely Related Monilinia Species

Mon, 22 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT

Structural variants (SVs) are variants with sizes bigger than 50 bp and capable of changing the size, copy number, location, orientation, and sequence content of genomic DNA. Although these variants have been proven to be extensive and involved in many evolutionary processes along the tree of life, there is still insufficient information on many fungal plant pathogens. In this study, the extent of SVs, as well as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), has been determined for two prominent species of the Monilinia genus (the causal agents of brown rot disease in pome and stone fruits): Monilinia fructicola and Monilinia laxa for the first time. The genomes of M. fructicola were found to be more variant-rich in contrast to M. laxa based on the reference-based variant calling (with a total number of 266.618 and 190.599 SNPs and 1,540 and 918 SVs, respectively). The extent, as well as distribution of SVs, presented high conservation within the species and high diversity between the species. Investigation of potential functional effects of characterized variants revealed high potential relevance of SVs. Moreover, the detailed characterization of copy number variations (CNVs) for each isolate revealed that around 0.67% of M. fructicola genomes and 2.06% of M. laxa genomes are copy number variables. The variant catalog as well as distinct variant dynamics within and between the species presented in this study opens doors for many further research questions.

The First Genome of the Cold-Water Octocoral, the Pink Sea Fan, Eunicella verrucosa

Sat, 20 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT

Cold-water corals form an important part of temperate benthic ecosystems by increasing three-dimensionality and providing an important ecological substrate for other benthic fauna. However, the fragile three-dimensional structure and life-history characteristics of cold-water corals can leave populations vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbance. Meanwhile, the ability of temperate octocorals, particularly shallow-water species, to respond to adjustments in their environment linked to climate change has not been studied. This study reports the first genome assembly of the pink sea fan (Eunicella verrucosa), a temperate shallow-water octocoral species. We produced an assembly of 467 Mb, comprising 4,277 contigs and an N50 of 250,417 bp. In total, 213 Mb (45.96% of the genome) comprised repetitive sequences. Annotation of the genome using RNA-seq data derived from polyp tissue and gorgonin skeleton resulted in 36,099 protein-coding genes after 90% similarity clustering, capturing 92.2% of the complete Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs (BUSCO) ortholog benchmark genes. Functional annotation of the proteome using orthology inference identified 25,419 annotated genes. This genome adds to the very few genomic resources currently available in the octocoral community and represents a key step in allowing scientists to investigate the genomic and transcriptomic responses of octocorals to climate change.