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Darwin Day 2015: Darwin, Wallace, and Domestication

Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.
Power Center Ballroom, Duquesne University

Dr. John Doebley
Professor of Genetics
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Free and open to the public with reception to follow. Sponsored by the Dean's Office of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

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Charles Darwin, in his book On the Origin of Species, used plant and animal domestication as a model to inform his theory on evolution under natural selection. Artificial selection during plant domestication is thought to have been largely unconscious, the inevitable product of a sowing-reaping cycle. Although important for Darwin's theory, domestication as a model for natural selection was a point of disagreement with Alfred Russel Wallace.

Genetic and molecular research has begun to uncover the basis of the changes involved in the evolution of plant form under both natural and artificial selection. In the case of plant domestication, about two dozen genes involved in the changes in morphology have been isolated and, for many of these genes, the nature of the alteration is understood. Join Dr. John Doebley as he discusses the genetic basis for the change in form under domestication and whether any patterns are beginning to emerge.

Dr. Doebley has spent the last 20 years examining the genetic similarities and differences between teosinte and maize, cloning the major genes that cause differences between the plants.

About Darwin Day 2015

Darwin Day is an annual international celebration of the life and work of Charles Darwin. It is also a time to emphasize the importance of science education in today's modern world, and the impact evolutionary biology has on many aspects of our lives.

Evolutionary theory is the single unifying concept in modern biology. Unfortunately, there are groups working against the teaching of evolutionary biology in our schools, even as the United States continues to lag behind most other developed countries in math and science education.

Contact Us

For more information about Darwin Day 2015, contact us at darwin2015@duq.edu.

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