Digital frukost: Corals, cucumbers and ctenophores: How eukaryotes manage the plans for their power stations

Organelle DNA is less protected than nuclear DNA and the risk of mutations could be high. How do eukaryotic organelles avoid the gradual buildup of deleterious mutations in the organelle DNA until function is lost?

Green cells

Register for the meeting

Deadline for registration: 25 February

Mitochondria and chloroplasts power complex life, and retain their own genomes, as a relic of their evolutionary history. This mitochondrial and plastid DNA (mtDNA and ptDNA) encodes vital bioenergetic apparatus, and mutations in these organelle DNA (oDNA) molecules can be devastating. But organelles are damaging environments, and oDNA isn't protected in the same way as nuclear DNA. How then do eukaryotic organelles avoid Muller's ratchet -- the gradual buildup of deleterious oDNA mutations until function is lost?

Message from the speaker Iain George Johnston, UiB:

I'll talk about our work using theory, single-cell experiments, and bioinformatics to describe the different ways that eukaryotes avoid organelle mutational meltdown. This approach provides some hints to the puzzling differences in the physical and genetic behaviour of organelles we see across taxa, from sponges and fungi to corals, cucumbers, and ctenophores!

About the seminar series

"Digital Frukost" is an open breakfast seminar series focusing on research activities at the interface between the biological sciences and that of mathematics, computer science, physics, engineering or social sciences. Examples of such research activities could be mathematical or computational modeling of biological systems, application of engineering/control systems theory on biological systems or inspired by biological systems, application of mathematics/statistics/machine learning to analyze big data in health or marine sector; from sensor systems, imaging, omics technologies, policy making based on scientific models etc.

We look forward to your participation!


Ragnhild I. Vestrum,

Published Jan. 21, 2021 1:02 PM - Last modified Feb. 18, 2021 3:22 PM