Keynote speakers 2021
Leandro Quadrana | INSB

Leandro Quadrana.

Since November 2017, Leandro joined the team of Vincent Colot at the Institut de Biologie de l’École Normale Supérieure (IBENS) in Paris, as a CNRS researcher (CR2) to study the contribution of TE mobilization to the generation of genetic and epigenetic diversity. In particular, exploring the role played by TE mobilization in the recovery of relevant phenotypic variation following strong genetic bottlenecks, such as the ones experienced during species colonization and domestication.

A summary of his talk:
Transposable elements (TEs) are powerful engines of genome evolution, as illustrated by their implication in the rewiring of gene regulatory networks and the creation of new cellular functions. Short-term consequences of TE mobilization can also be particularly dramatic given that TE insertions are a unique source of large effect mutations and that transposition can be exquisitely sensitive to the environment. In this talk I will present our efforts to characterize the role of ongoing transposition to within-species variation and how this knowledge is changing our view of the evolutionary forces driving the rapid adaptation of plants to drastic environmental changes.

Prof. Zander Myburg

Zander Myburg

Professor and Chair in Forest Genomics and Biotechnology  at Forestry and Agricultural Biothechnology Insitute, University of Pretoria.

His research focuses on the molecular genetics and genomics of wood formation in fast-growing trees such as Eucalyptus species and their hybrids. I am particularly interested in the molecular basis of quantitative variation in growth and wood properties and the development of biotechnology solutions to improve these properties in trees. Zander’s research programme has pioneered the application of genomics technologies, in particular transcriptome profiling by RNA sequencing, for population-based analysis of xylem development. Integration of such data with other sources of biological data such as wood chemistry traits and metabolite profiles allows a systems genetics approach towards understanding of the complex biology of wood development. Prof. Myburg established the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) programme, a collaborative research and development venture of the University of Pretoria, Sappi and Mondi, in 2003.