Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology 2008

August 1, 2008

The Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting 2008 was held in Toronto. There is a tremendous amount of quality research going on within the yeast community. Given that I was also in Toronto to attend the ISMB meeting, which overlapped, I wasn’t able to attend several sessions. That said, my highlights from the 2008 Yeast Meeting:

  • New method of protein-protein interaction detection called protein-fragment complementation (PCA) looks promising (Landry et al).
  • The entire session on EvoDevo (Saturday morning) was excellent:
    • Kevin Verstrepen’s work on repeat analysis both within and between genes looks interesting and I look forward to this paper (Smukalla et. al. — under review).
    • Ivan Liachko gave a nice talk on their comparative functional analysis of the origin of replication in related yeast species. The picture emerging is a elegant story of evolutionary change.
    • There were a couple great talks from labs using chemostats to really go after the process of evolution. I particularly liked Maitreya Dunham’s talk on cerevisiae and bayanus hybrids.
  • Tim Hughes and Cong Zhu gave back-to-back talks on their efforts to catalog the complete set of sequence preferences for all transcription factors in yeast. This is tough work, especially when the field can’t even agree on the starting point (what is the complete list of transcription factors in yeast?). However, once complete, their efforts will make an enormously useful dataset.
  • Based on talks from the 454 and ABI Solid representatives, it’s only a matter of months before the $1000/genome is a reality in the yeast world. With 454’s long reads, they seem (currently) to be the right way to go after de novo genomes.
  • Based on the myriad of posters and talks on assorted genes in yeast … pleiotrophy is the rule, not the exception. Some of the functions can be attributed to specific domains within the protein. Others are more a consequence of the way cellular networks interconnect. Finally, some functions only seem to arise when needed … in essence, a backup when something elsewhere goes wrong.
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2 Responses to “Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology 2008”


  1. Thanks for the reports. Do you know when Ivan Liachko works ? I could not find a link to a webpage. I am looking at phosphorylation evolution and ORC is one of the examples that pops out as divergent. I would be really interested in knowing about more concrete cell biology studies.

  2. wrightfisher Says:

    The authors listed for Ivan Liachko’s work are: Ivan Liachko, Shau Chee Claire Chung, Uri Keich, and Bik K. Tye. The Tye lab is located at Cornell.


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