9.00am Tuesday, 2 April
Room 208, 2nd floor
720 Cumberland St
Dr David Evans
University of Alberta
Recombination serves an essential biological function for repairing broken DNA structures including replication forks. It has also served as an important tool for biologists interested in mapping and genetically engineering different organisms. DNA viruses are also affected by recombination where it plays a key role in driving evolution of pathogens with new virulence properties.
Dr. Evans’ laboratory has been studying the biology of poxviruses for thirty years with a particular focus in the links between virus DNA replication and genetic recombination. These genetic and biochemical studies have shown that poxviruses use a simple “single-strand annealing” reaction to produce recombinants and that this reaction is catalyzed by the virus-encoded DNA polymerase. More recently his laboratory has employed next generation sequencing and optical imaging technologies to better characterize how recombination has shaped the composition of genomes in polyclonal virus populations and how the cytoplasmic mode of DNA replication affects the timing and level of recombination experienced by replicating vaccinia virus.
Dr. Evans will present a review of these mechanisms and also outline how these and other new technologies (like synthetic biology) can be applied to clone DNA, make advanced vaccines and oncolytic viruses, and further dissect some curious features of poxvirus genomes.