This news release is available in German.
Researchers at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna made a breakthrough for the Platynereis model system, as they describe the first method for generating specific and inheritable mutations in the species. The method, in combination with other tools, now places this marine bristle worm in an excellent position to advance research at the frontiers of neurobiology, chronobiology, evolutionary developmental biology and marine biology. The study and a review on Platynereis dumerilii genetic methods were chosen by the renowned journal Genetics as one of the May 2014 Highlights and also got the cover image.
Many fascinating biological phenomena, of which we currently have little to no molecular understanding, can be observed in the tiny marine bristle worm Platynereis dumerilii. It displays a slow rate of evolution, which permits analyses of ancestral genes and cell types, possesses a vertebrate-type hormonal system, as well as the ability to regenerate large pieces of its body. Furthermore, its reproductive timing is controlled by multiple timers a feature likely to be common to many other organisms. These characteristics make it an ideal model for evolutionary studies as well as for chronobiology, amongst other research fields. However, dissecting Platynereis gene function in vivo had remained challenging due to a lack of available tools.
TALENs as a new tool to engineer targeted modifications in Platynereis genes
To address this need, scientists from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) and the Research Platform "Marine Rhythms of Life" of the University of Vienna and supported by the VI
|Contact: Lilly Sommer|
University of Vienna