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25 Aug 2009 (symposium)
24-29 Aug 2009 (congress)
Turin, Italy

Supported by

By bridging the genotype-phenotype gap, molecular systems biology approaches have the potential to provide new insights into eminent
problems in evolutionary genetics including the adaptive landscape.
Realistic computational models of biological systems that predict
fitness correlates and their calibration with wet-lab data are vital
for progress in the emerging field of evolutionary systems biology.

This year's biannual congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology in Turin, Italy attracted well over 1000 participants and was divided into six parallel symposia tracks (see ESEB conference website). For the first time it featured a symposium on evolutionary systems biology. The symposium was well attended and provided an exciting opportunity for interacting with some of the leading researchers in EvoSysBio. More details below.

Full PDFs of selected talks presented at the symposium:

Talk abstracts from the official ESEB website
Poster abstracts from the official ESEB website

The following talks were presented (only the presenter's name is given here):

Invited talks

  • The EMBO lecture by Laurence D. Hurst       EMBO
    Noise abatement and genome evolution

    Laurence D. Hurst
    , Nizar N. Batada, Károly Kovács, Balázs Papp &  Araxi O. Urrutia
    University of Bath, UK
    PDF of presentation
  • Roy Kishony
    Evolution of resistance in multi-drug space
    Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School

Oral presentations: Systems biology and population genetics

  • Ryszard Korona
    Genetic and environmental factors of fitness variation in yeast gene-deletion strains
    PDF of presentation

  • Ivana Gudelj, Ayari Fuentes-Hernandez, Craig MacLean, Duncan Greig & Laurence Hurst
    Quantifying fitness in a public goods game

  • Christian Kost
    Genomic modularity facilitates adaptive evolution in Pseudomonas fluorescens
    (replaced cancelled talk by Craig MacLean & Angus Buckling
    The distribution of fitness effects of beneficial mutations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa)

  • Pierrick Labbé, Michel Raymond, Nicolas Sidos, Mylène Weill & Thomas Lenormand
    Resistance gene replacement in the mosquito Culex pipiens
    PDF of presentation

Oral presentations: Cellular network models and evolution

  • Stephen S. Fong
    Integration of metabolic modeling and laboratory evolution
    PDF of presentation
  • Stefan Schuster
    Has molar yield in metabolic networks been maximized during evolution?
  • Max B. Cooper, John F. Brookfield & Matthew Loose
    Statistical properties of evolved gene regulatory networks- feed forward loops in Escherichia coli
    PDF of presentation

Oral presentations: Computing protein phenotypes

  • Stefan Richter, Matthias Stein, Razif R. Gabdoulline & Rebecca C. Wade
    Exploring relatedness of proteins based on electrostatic properties - application to estimation of enzyme kinetic parameters

    PDF of full presentation


Posters: Systems biology and evolutionary genetics

  • Laurence Loewe
    A framework for evolutionary systems biology
  • Balázs Papp, Balázs Szappanos, Csaba Pál
    Systems biology of genetic interactions in yeast
  • Victor Sabarly, Christine Dillmann, Odile Bouvet, Erick Denamur & Dominique de Vienne
    Within-species genetic and environmental variability of enzymatic kinetic parameters and concentrations
  • Christian Kost, Andrew D. Farr, Caroline Rose, Gayle C. Ferguson, Hubertus J. E. Beaumont & Paul B. Rainey
    A modular genomic architecture facilitates the repeated re-evolution of an adaptive phenotype in Pseudomonas fluorescens
  • Károly Kovács, Laurence D. Hurst & Balázs Papp
    Stochasticity in protein levels drives colinearity of gene order and enzymatic steps in metabolic operons of Escherichia coli

Posters: Resistance evolution

  • Balázs Bogos, Orsolya Méhi & Csaba Pál
    Impact of hierarchical structure of transcriptional regulatory networks on the evolution of drug resistance
  • Rafael Pena-Miller, Martin Ackermann & Robert E. Beardmore
    Controlling the evolution of antimicrobial resistance in a single host
  • Sandra Trindade, Ana Sousa, Francisco Dionísio & Isabel Gordo
    Epistasis Between Antibiotic Resistance Mutations
  • Ana Sousa & Isabel Gordo
    Tempo and mode of compensatory evolution

Posters: Computational methods

  • Elaine Murphy & Vincent Danos
    Rule Based Modelling of Biochemical Networks

Posters: Potential fitness correlates of interest

  • Braendle Christian, Baer Charlie & Felix Marie-Anne
    Quantifying the robustness and evolvability of a developmental system
  • Violeta Munoz-Fuentes & Carles Vila
    Canine genomics and the rapid generation of phenotypic diversity
  • Emaresi Guillaume, Ducrest Anne-Lyse, Simon Céline & Roulin Alexandre
    Adaptive functions of melanin-based coloration, the role of melanocortins
  • Tugce Bilgin, Levent M. Kurnaz & Isil Aksan Kurnaz
    Robustness of Alternate Coding Tables - A Statistical Analysis

Posters: New paradigms

  • Dan Cohen
    New Paradigms for Modeling Long Term Evolution and Adaptations in Varying Selection Regimes: The elusive concepts of equiblibrium and optimality.
  • Mato Nagel
    Fauceir Theory.
  • Soichi Ogishima & Hiroshi Tanaka
    Systems evolutionary analysis on the putative Hox transcriptional networks

Posters: General preparations
(To prepare the ground for potential future EvoSysBio studies this category has to be almost as broad as biology. Successful EvoSysBio is ultimately inclusive, as it depends on work in many other disciplines.)

  • Jaroslav Mráček, Luboš Úradníček & Soňa Tichá
    Phylogenetic analysis of genus Salix
  • Tibela Landeka Dragičević, Marijana Zanoški Hren, Ana Rude & Jasmina Ibrahimpašić
    Nitrogen removal from landfill leachate by nitrification and denitrification

Detailed description

Evolutionary genetics has a long history of successful quantitative modelling, especially in areas where functional molecular details can be abstracted by selection coefficients. Molecular biology has a long history of uncovering functional molecular details and has recently started to engage in quantitative modelling in the new field of molecular systems biology. We propose to bring these two fields together to help elucidate some fundamental problems in evolutionary biology that include providing a molecular basis for predicting the distribution of mutational effects and epistasis in silico. Central to this approach is the definition of fitness correlates that can be computed in molecular systems biology models and establishing their calibration to experimentally observable fitness measures.

In this symposium we aim to bring together researchers that have contributed towards such a synthesis of evolutionary genetics and functional molecular properties. We believe that the new excitement in systems biology is an excellent opportunity for progress in many fundamental evolutionary questions, if the new models that are being constructed can be extended to include fitness correlates that turn them into powerful tools for investigating the adaptive landscape. Although such realistic systems models have become increasingly available in the past few years, their application to evolutionary issues has remained limited so far. Thus, an interdisciplinary symposium on evolutionary systems biology is highly timely and could facilitate the generation of novel evolutionary research programmes. A potentially useful framework for evolutionary systems biology that centers on a research program to quantify the adaptive landscape has been described recently (Loewe 2009, A framework for evolutionary systems biology. BMC Systems Biology 3:27, Journal Link ).


Symposium organizers

Dr. Laurence Loewe
Centre for Systems Biology at Edinburgh
School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Balazs Papp
Evolutionary Systems Biology Group
Biological Research Center