Antoine Van de Vloet

Antoine Van de Vloet — PhD student
Joined the group in 2021

(Epi)mutation is the primary source of (epi)genetic variation and as such a prerequisite for evolutionary change. The impact of whole genome duplications (WGDs) on (epi)mutation remains largely unknown, but the few experiments that have been conducted indicate that (1) the classic population genetic models at the basis of our understanding of ploidy related differences in adaptation rate, are often too naive in their assumptions on mutation rate, (2) heterozygosity can affect mutation rate. Despite the importance of WGD in plant evolution, the bulk of these scarce studies used isogenic strains of yeast, while none used representatives of the 'green lineage'. I will perform a mutation accumulation experiment using several haploid, diploid and tetraploid strains, with different degrees of heterozygosity, of the “green yeast” Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, to study the effects of WGD on the genome-wide (epi)mutation rate and spectrum, and downstream effects on fitness.

Birth date: 31th of december, 1997

2016-2019: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Ghent University
2019-2021: Master of Science in Biology, Ghent University


  1. Bafort, Q., Prost, L., Aydogdu Lohaus, E., Van de Vloet, A., Casteleyn, G., Van de Peer, Y., & De Clerck, O. (2023). Studying whole-genome duplication using experimental evolution of Chlamydomonas. In Y. Van de Peer (Ed.), Polyploidy : methods and protocols (Vol. 2545, pp. 351–372).
    In this chapter, we present the use of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in experiments designed to study the evolutionary impacts of whole genome duplication. We shortly introduce the algal species and depict why it is an excellent model for experimental evolution. Subsequently, we discuss the most relevant steps and methods in the design of a ploidy-related Chlamydomonas experiment. These steps include strain selection, ploidy determination, different methods of making diplo- and polyploid Chlamydomonas cells, replication, culturing conditions, preservation, and the ways to quantify phenotypic and genotypic change.