Michael Travisano

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Throughout most of the mammalian genome, genetically regulated developmental programming establishes diverse yet predictable epigenetic states across differentiated cells and tissues. At metastable epialleles (MEs), conversely, epigenotype is established stochastically in the early embryo then maintained in differentiated lineages, resulting in dramatic and(More)
While there has been much recent focus on the ecological causes of adaptive diversification, we know less about the genetic nature of the trade-offs in resource use that create and maintain stable, diversified ecotypes. Here we show how a regulatory genetic change can contribute to sympatric diversification caused by differential resource use and maintained(More)
The transition to multicellularity enabled the evolution of large, complex organisms, but early steps in this transition remain poorly understood. Here we show that multicellular complexity, including development from a single cell, can evolve rapidly in a unicellular organism that has never had a multicellular ancestor. We subject the alga Chlamydomonas(More)
Adaptive radiations occur when a species diversifies into different ecological specialists due to competition for resources and trade-offs associated with the specialization. The evolutionary outcome of an instance of adaptive radiation cannot generally be predicted because chance (stochastic events) and necessity (deterministic events) contribute to the(More)
BACKGROUND Stresses like dietary restriction or various toxins increase lifespan in taxa as diverse as yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila and rats, by triggering physiological responses that also tend to delay reproduction. Food odors can reverse the effects of dietary restriction, showing that key mechanisms respond to information, not just(More)
Organisms have increased in complexity through a series of major evolutionary transitions, in which formerly autonomous entities become parts of a novel higher-level entity. One intriguing feature of the higher-level entity after some major transitions is a division of reproductive labor among its lower-level units in which reproduction is the sole(More)
The metabolic capabilities of microbes are the basis for many major biotechnological advances, exploiting microbial diversity by selection or engineering of single strains. However, there are limits to the advances that can be achieved with single strains, and attention has turned toward the metabolic potential of consortia and the field of synthetic(More)
The evolution of multicellularity was one of the key innovations in the history of life on Earth. Virtually all morphological and ecological diversity in macro-organisms builds upon the evolutionary potential associated with multicellularity. We examined the potential for ecological diversity to rapidly arise following transitions to multicellularity.(More)
BACKGROUND When introduced to novel environments, the ability for a species to survive and rapidly proliferate corresponds with its adaptive potential. Of the many factors that can yield an environment inhospitable to foreign species, phenotypic response to variation in the thermal climate has been observed within a wide variety of species. Experimental(More)