University of Washington - Department of Genome Sciences
Gene expression is an important molecular phenotype, providing the initial step in bridging the divide between static genomic information and dynamic organismal phenotypes. Thus, variation in gene expression levels is thought to constitute a significant source of phenotypic diversity among individuals within populations and to contribute to the evolutionary divergence between species. I will discuss our work on identifying regulatory polymorphisms that contribute to heritable transcriptional variation in both yeast and humans. In addition, I will describe a new framework that leverages catalogs of regulatory variation to make inferences about the evolution of gene expression levels within and between populations.