Quantitative Developmental Genetics in C. elegans
We study the relationship between genotype and developmental phenotypes and how the environment modifies this relationship. Our broad aim is to understand how genetic networks, that is, the entire set of functional linkages between genes and their regulatory modules, encode developmental phenotypes, and how these networks are modified in different environments or become subject to evolutionary change via natural selection. We are particularly interested in understanding what makes developmental networks robust, so that they continue producing consistent end results (i.e. phenotypes) in the presence of genetic or environmental perturbations. We would like to identify mechanisms that ensure developmental stability, study how these mechanisms evolve and address their evolutionary significance and consequences at the whole organism level. We have recently expanded to questions on innate immunity and we use C. elegans as a model to understand natural infections by oomycetes.
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