“Real Time Evolution: A window into selection, mutation and adaptation of RNA viruses”.
RNA viruses are distinguished by high mutation rates, huge populations sizes, and short replication times. As a consequence, RNA viruses replicate as complex and dynamic mutant swarms, called viral quasispecies. The extremely high mutation rates of viruses are central drivers of their evolution, and as such make them fascinating both as pathogens and as evolutionary model systems. Here, I analyze how the live attenuated vaccine Poliovirus strain can evolve and rapidly adapt to regain virulence, using a combination of evolutionary models, field samples, and experimental evolution. I will describe a novel highly accurate method for deep sequencing of populations and inference of a fitness landscape from serial passaging. This method allows us for the first time to interrogate virus evolution in real time, and to investigate how viral diversity and robustness contribute to adaptation and virulence.
מארחת: פרופ”מ מיטל לנדאו