2019.07.10 Leech models for integrating studies in evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo), the molecular
题 目：Leech models for integrating studies in evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo), the molecular specification of neuronal phenotypes, and behavior
报告人：David A. Weisblat
Professor, Molecular & Cell Biology, UC Berkeley
Leeches are segmented worms of the phylum Annelida. The medicinal leech Hirudo has long been a powerful model for studying the neurobiology and behavior in terms of the properties of individually identified neurons, beginning with Retzius' 19th century anatomical descriptions. Independently, the pond leech Helobdella has proved to be a tractable model for studying development in Lophtrochozoa, a poorly studied super-phylum of bilaterially symmetric animals. This work also has 19th century roots, in the work of C.O. Whitman. Integrating results between these species has been difficult, however, because Hirudo has a small embryo and Helobdella has a small nervous system. Now, we are starting to bridge this gap with new technologies: transposon-mediated transgenesis and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing in Helobdella; transcriptional profiling of individually identified neuron cell types and RNA interference in Hirudo. Thus, we anticipate that leeches will be useful for studying the molecular basis of neuronal cell type specification and the behavioral significance of neuronal cell-type specific transcripts.
2019-07-10 DAW shortbio.pdf