Genomics for non-model organisms: pros and cons
Chairmen: Lino Ometto and Omar Rota-Stabelli
Sequencing the draft genome of a non model organism is now relatively simple and cost effective. While it provides precious resource for evolutionary and comparative studies, especially for ecologically relevant questions, it has important drawbacks. The round table will allow the discussion of some of these issues, such as the complexity of analyzing very large genomes, the correct estimate of heterozygosity, and the lack of sister species for proper evolutionary comparisons and inferences as well as for accurate gene modelling and ontology. Participants who are in the process, or are willing, to sequence their favorite species are invited to share their experience.
ENCODE and the functional fraction of the genome
Chairmen: Telmo Pievani and Dan Graur
The publication of the first results of the international consortium "ENCODE" in 2014 has raised heated discussion about their evolutionary interpretation. According to ENCODE authors, large portions of the human genome are “active”, and likely "functional", and the fraction of the genome under evolutionary constraints is much higher than previously estimated. Dan Graur and other experts have strongly criticized this conclusion, labeling it as an “evolution-free gospel”. The round table will focus on the evolutionary bioinformatics techniques used to detect functional DNA regions, and the possible misunderstanding related to the link between active DNA and natural selection.
The most influential (and useful) papers in adaptation genomics
Chairmen: Giorgio Bertorelle and Emiliano Trucchi
The organizers will provide in advance (at least one month before the workshop) a list of 3-5 papers they consider as fundamental for scientists starting to work in the field of adaptation genomics. They will introduce the roundtable by explaining their choice, and then the participants are expected to discuss strengths and weaknesses of these papers, possibly suggesting other relevant studies.