Spring 2012 Biomedical Seminar Series
Friday, May 18, 2012
The tree of life is dead; Long live the tree of life
Dr. Rob Desalle
Curator of Entomology
American Museum of Natural History Center for Interdisciplinary Quantitative Analysis (CINQA)
Recent challenges to a diverging vertical tree of life have been made by microbialists and population geneticists. The microbialists (not to be confused with microbiologists) suggest that Horizontal Gene Transfer renders a vertical tree of life impossible. Population geneticists using the phenomenon of lineage sorting have suggested that a new systematic paradigm needs to be developed as a result of the conflicting inferences made from differently sorting genes and gene regions. Both of these challenges to Darwin's tree of life will be examined using whole genome approaches.