Day 1 :
Tokyo University of Science, Japan
Reiko Kuroda obtained her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Tokyo, and carried out her Post-doctoral studies at King’s College London. Her research focuses on chirality, both in the fi eld of Chemistry and Biology: chirality recognition, transfer and amplifi cation in the solid state, development of chiroptical spectroscophotometers to enable condensed-phase measurements, and the molecular basis of snail body handedness. She has published 328 peer-reviewed papers.
Body handedness of gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis is determined by a single gene locus that functions maternally. We have previously shown that the gene dictates the cytoskeletal dynamics at the third cleavage (from the fourth to the eight-cell stage), and only the embryos of dominant chirality exhibit SD (spiral deformation) and SI (spindle inclination) at this stage. Further, we could create fertile snails of mirror-image body plan by altering the chirality of blastomeres through mechanical manipulation at this stage. In this talk, the identifi cation of the handedness-determining gene will be discussed. Using pure dextral (DD) and sinistral (dd) strains as well as its F2 through to F10 backcrossed lines, the single handedness determining-gene locus was mapped by genetic linkage analysis, BAC cloning and chromosome walking. We have identifi ed the actin related diaphanous gene Lsdia1 as the candidate. Th ere are tandemly-repeated highly-homologus genes, Lsdia1 and Lsdia2. Although the cDNA and derived amino acid sequences of the genes are very similar, we could discriminate the two genes/proteins in our molecular biology experiments. Th e Lsdia1 gene of the sinistral strain carries a single point mutation which causes a frameshift mutation abrogating full-length LsDia1 protein expression. In the dextral strain, it is already translated prior to oviposition. Expression of Lsdia1 (only in the dextral strain) and Lsdia2 (in both chirality) decreases aft er the 1-cell stage, with no asymmetric localization throughout.
René Rachou Research Center, Brazil
Laila Alves Nahum completed her PhD at the University of São Paulo, Brazil and Postdoctoral studies from the Marine Biological Laboratory and Louisiana State University, USA. She is a Researcher at Fiocruz Minas and a Teacher at Promove College of Technology. Her research is focused on the Phylogenomics (Phylogenetics + Genomics) of a broad range of organisms including human pathogens and their vectors. She has published research papers in reputed journals and book chapters.
The availability of genomic data provides an opportunity to understand parasite biology and to identify new drug candidates against neglected diseases aff ecting millions of people worldwide. Functional annotation of genomes, transcriptomes and predicted proteomes is one of the major challenges in sequencing projects. We address this challenge by applying an evolutionary framework to the interpretation of sequence data. Our research projects have been focused on the analyses of distinct protein families in helminths (Schistosoma and others) and protozoans (Leishmania, Trypanosoma, and Plasmodium), which cause a broad range of diseases. Th ese protein families include mainly protein kinases, protein deacetylases, and proteases. Potential homologues in the predicted proteomes of selected taxa are identifi ed by using hidden Markov model profi les. Evolutionary relationships of protein sequences are reconstructed by two character-based methods (Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood). Evolutionary trees are annotated with taxonomic and experimental information based on the scientifi c literature. Our work improves functional annotation of genes and proteins of diverse parasites and their homologues in humans. Furthermore, our work potentially identifi es molecular biomarkers with various applications.
Institute of Biophysics - CAS, China