11th Hermann Staudinger Lecture with Nobel Laureate Werner Arber: "From Microbial Genetics to Molecular Genetics and to Molecular Evolution"
von 16:15 bis 18:00
|Wo||Anatomy Lecture Hall, Albertstr. 19, 79104 Freiburg|
|Name||Dr. Britta Küst|
Open to the public
Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland
From Microbial Genetics to Molecular Genetics and to Molecular Evolution
Bacterial genetics had its fulgurant start in the 1940's with the discoveries that genetic information is carried on DNA molecules and that bacterial viruses and plasmids can serve as natural gene vectors. When bacterial restriction endonucleases became available, genetic engineering was introduced around 1970 and this facilitated molecular genetic investigations. In order to evaluate long-term evolutionary risks of genetic engineering it became clear that natural mechanisms of spontaneous genetic variation had to be understood at the molecular level and compared with the strategies of genetic engineering. Again, microbial genetic approaches revealed that many different molecular mechanisms contribute to the overall genetic variation, the driving force of biological evolution. Specific enzymes serving as variation generators and/or as modulators of the rates of genetic variation are thereby involved together with non-genetic elements. Philosophical and practical implications of these insights into the natural process of biological evolution will be discussed.