This meeting aims to bring the news in genome evolution by bringing together leaders and young students and post-docs from around the world. We will cover diverse sub-disciplines ranging from experimental evolution, theoretical and computational evolutionary dynamics, molecular evolution, cancer evolution and more.


Monday, August 1, 2016


Weizmann institute of sceince
The Aharon Katzir Center
The Azrieli Foundation

The Chorafas institute
for scientific exchange

The Kahn Family Research Center
For Systems Biology of the Human Cell

Preliminary Program

09:00 - 09:05
Opening remarks
Tzachi Pilpel, Weizmann Institute

Session 1- Chair: Shira Weingarten-Gabbay

Norman Pavelka, Singapore Immunology Network, A*STAR
Adaptive evolution of yeasts to environmental and genetic perturbation
ASB lecture
Balazs Papp, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Stereotypic transcriptional response contributes to the fitness impact of genetic perturbations in yeast
Dan Tawfik, Weizmann Institute
How do proteins evolve?
Coffee break

Session 2- Chair: Dorit Hizi

10:50 - 11:20
Debora Marks, Harvard Medical School
Effects of genetic variation captured by epistatic models of evolutionary sequence variation
ASB lecture
11:20 - 11:35
Xavier Grau-Bové, UPF-CSIC
Mapping genomic innovation in the unicellular ancestry of animals: intronization and gene family diversification
ASB lecture
11:35 - 12:05
Dan Graur, University of Houston
Can a eukaryote genome be devoid of junk DNA? An answer based on mutational genetic load, mean fertility, and effective population size
12:05 - 12:20
Dan Bar-Yaacov, Weizmann Institute
Bypassing the genome: Regulation by RNA editing in bacteria
Lunch + Posters

Session 3 - Chair: Daniel Dar

14:00 - 15:15
Sivan Kaminski, Weizmann Institute
Special session - The Evolthon challenge
Minerva lecture
15:15 - 15:35
Ruth Hershberg, Technion
From Boom to Bust-the dynamics of bacterial adaptation under prolonged resource limitation
15:35 - 15:50
Yuval Tabach, Hebrew University
Comparative genomics of 500 species reveal new insights about superpowers, drugs and human diseases
MICC lecture
Coffee Break

Session 4- Chair: Lianet Noda Gracia

16:20 - 16:50
Csaba Pál, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Compensatory adaptation as a pervasive evolutionary force
ASB lecture
16:50 - 17:20
Roy Kishony, Technion
Within patient pathogen evolution
17:20 - 17:35
Yishay Pinto, Bar-Ilan University
Clustered mutations in hominid genome evolution are consistent with APOBEC3G enzymatic activity
MICC lecture
17:35 - 18:05
Nathalie Balaban, Hebrew University
Single cell variability of growth: causes and consequences
MICC lecture
18:05 - 18:25
Oded Rechavi, Tel Aviv University
A switch that controls long term epigenetic inheritance
Dinner + Posters
Ensemble Kartoshkes, Playback theater Botnar auditorium, Belfer Building


Students can be accommodated in the Reisfeld Residence at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
Note that only joint rooms are availble in the Reisfeld Residence.
For further information and reservations please Contact Ms. Shany Dalal.
Shany Dalal


Alternatively, a 2nd option is the Leonardo Boutique Rehovot Hotel which participants can reserve independently.


David Lopatie Conference Centre

Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot

David Lopatie Conference Centre

Evolthon: the lab evolution challenge

We are happy to announce first edition of the Evolthon.
Evolthon is a lab evolution challenge for the community of scientists interested in microbial evolution.
We are aiming to find new and creative strategies of microorganisms' adaptation toward a given challenge in a lab experimental setting.
Evolthon will take place as a part of the “Genome Evolution” meeting at the Weizmann institute of Science on 1st-3rd November 2016.
Participants will evolve or engineer microorganisms (S.cerevisiae or E.coli) toward a specific environmental condition – low temperature.
We are interested in exploring with the community how various evolutionary regimes, such as the extent of mutagenesis, population size, existence of sex, severity of stress, status of epigenetic machineries, etc. could affect the trajectory of evolution.
We also allow designed engineering of the genome.

We expect a shared publication of all participants in which we will describe the challenge, the strategies and the results.

Experimental setup: strains, Challenges and results evaluation

The challenge would be growth at low temperature (15oC for yeast and 20oC for E. coli).
To assess the evolved strains’ fitness on the challenging condition all competing yeast strains will be pooled together and separately all competing E. coli strains will be pooled together and allowed to compete in order to assess the relative fitness of the different strains.
The starting strains will be S. cerevisiae (strain BY4741), and E. coli (strain MG1655).
Growth medium in the competition will be YPD for yeast (10g/l yeast extract, 20g/l peptone, 20g/l glucose), and LB for E. coli (10g/l tryptone, 5g/l yeast extract, and 10g/l NaCl).


  1. Strains: Each participant will receive from the organizers a unique genomic barcoded ancestor from the respective species.
  2. Mode of competition: All strains from each species will be pooled together and will be grown in batch mode with daily dilution regime at the above temperature and medium for a couple of weeks to allow competition. At the end of this competition period the organizers will deep-sequence the barcodes from the pooled populations to determine the relative fitness of all strains.
  3. Submission of results: each participant will be required to provide the following:
    1. The evolved/engineered strains
    2. A short description of the chosen strategy
    3. A publication-ready documentation of the evolution/engineering process/protocol
    4. Growth curves of ancestor and adapted strains on the challenge’s conditions
    5. Whole genome sequencing of the strain (potential and can be submitted at a later stage)


Registration – 1/5/2016
Submission of strains and information – 1/9/2016

Results announcement

Results announcement and discussion will take place at a special session during the Genome Evolution Meeting.
Individual participants will be invited to present their strategies.

A joint publication of the challenge

The results will be summarized and submitted as a joint paper authored by all participants.
Strategies will have to be documented fully and described as a Material and Methods section.
Individual results will not disclose author identity.


If you are interested to participate please contact Tzachi Pilpel (Pilpel@weizmann.ac.il) AND Ruth Towers (ruth.towers@weizmann.ac.il).
Please indicate in which track you are interested – E. coli or S. cerevisiae and send mailing address for strains shipment.
Adapted strains should be sent to the following address:
   Dr. Ruth Towers
   Pilpel Lab (Belfer building)
   Department of Molecular Genetics
   The Weizmann Institute of Science
   234 Herzl Street,
   Rehovot 7610001

For further questions please contact Tzachi Pilpel (Pilpel@weizmann.ac.il).

Registration and Abstract Submission

Registration for the Genome Evolution Conference in Rehovot,Israel is now open.

A one page Abstract should be submitted for both oral and poster presentations.
The deadline for Abstract submission is set to August 1st.
Selected speakers will be notified.

Register and\or Submit Abstract »


Organizing Committee

Yizhak Pilpel (Weizmann Institute)

Orna Dahan (Weizmann Institute)

Roy Kishony (Technion)

Contact Information

Yizhak Pilpel


Orna Dahan


Roy Kishony