Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica



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TIGP (BIO)—Loss and Preservation of Duplicated Genes: Phenotypic Consequences and Molecular Mechanisms


TIGP (BIO)—Loss and Preservation of Duplicated Genes: Phenotypic Consequences and Molecular Mechanisms

  • LecturerDr. Ben-Yang Liao (Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes)
    Host: TIGP (BIO)
  • Time2022-09-22 (Thu.) 14:00 – 16:00
  • LocationVirtual only
Live Stream
Meeting link:
Meeting ID:
2516 364 2067
Mammalian genes frequently duplicate, and many factors could determine the evolutionary fates of duplicated genes. For the first part of the talk, I will present our recent multi-omic and morphological analyses on multiple murid rodents. We found that the acquisition of improved vision in the diurnal rodent model, the Nile rat (Arvicanthis niloticus), has been followed by degeneration of both olfaction-related anatomical structures and frequent loss of olfactory receptor genes, the largest gene family in mammalian genomes arisen from duplication events. This study verifies the presence of sensory tradeoff triggered by temporal niche switch during mammalian evolution. Hence, a finite energy budget and the high energy demand required for animal sensation and perception is one of the causes for the loss of duplicated sensory genes. For the second part of the talk, I will present our progress on understanding the causes and molecular mechanisms underlying the preservation of duplicated genes, especially those that are sensitive to dosage changes. I will show that both the transcriptional control involving DNA methylation and the translational control have played roles in expression reduction and preservation of duplicated dosage-sensitive genes. The studies presented in this seminar will help TIGP students to gain a deeper understanding on the evolutionary significant and molecular mechanisms of gene duplications in animals.
Ben-Yang Liao graduated, with a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and jointed Institute of Population Health Sciences of the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) as an Assistant Principal Investigator in 2008. Liao was promoted to be an Associate Principal Investigator in 2013, and to be Principal Investigator in 2018. Liao is a geneticist and molecular biologist who uses bioinformatical, comparative and systems biology approaches to study genetics and molecular evolution of biomedical model organisms such as mouse (Mus musculus), and to understand regulatory mechanisms that potentially underlying human disease progression. Liao’s research topics have included (i) protein evolution and function, (ii) transcriptional regulation of genes, (iii) molecular determinants of phenotypes/disorders, (iv) evolutionary dynamics of DNA, (v) epigenetic control of biological systems. In addition, Liao has been developing bioinformatic tools that can be widely used to biologically interpret results generated by high throughput studies in biology and biomedical sciences. Liao’s previous works have been published in high profile journals including Genome Research, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Mol. Biol. Evol. and Bioinformatics. Because of his research achievement in the field of molecular evolution and computational biology, Liao was awarded Research Achievement Award for Junior Research Investigator (from NHRI) in 2013, Ta-You Wu Memorial Award (from Ministry of Science and Technology, MOST) in 2015, and Junior Research Investigator Award from Academia Sinica in 2018. The long-term goals of Dr. Liao’s research are to decode functions of all protein coding genes in mammalian genomes, and to establish more ideal animal models for biomedical research.