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Genetics: why and how do animals edit their own genomes?

Principal Supervisor: Dr Andre Pires da Silva

Secondary Supervisor(s): Dr Erik Griffin

University of Registration: University of Warwick

BBSRC Research Themes: Understanding the Rules of Life (Stem Cells)

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Deadline: 4 January, 2024


Project Outline

In principle, all cells derived from a fertilised egg have the same genetic information. However, in some animals, specific genomic regions are removed from somatic cells during development. Why parts of the genome are removed from these cells, but not from cells forming the gametes (germline), has long remained an open question. Using a small free-living nematode, this projects aims to find the molecular components involved in removal of 60% of the genome during development.

References

Rey, C., . . . Delattre, M. (2023). Programmed DNA elimination in Mesorhabditis nematodes. Curr Biol. 10.1016/j.cub.2023.07.058.

Drotos, K.H.I., . . . Wyngaard, G.A. (2022). Throwing away DNA: programmed downsizing in somatic nuclei. Trends in Genetics 38, 483

Techniques

    • gene editing tools to generated mutant nematodes (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9)
    • generation of transgenic nematodes (e.g., tagging of specific proteins with fluorescent markers)
    • microscopy (e.g., time lapse videos, confocal microscopy)
    • bioinformatics (e.g., writing scripts in Unix, R and Python)
    • mathematical modelling (R, Python)