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David Fitch

New York University
100 Washington Square East
New York, NY 10003

(212) 475-5712

Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals, Nematoda: Rhabditina: Rhabditdae (including Caenorhabditis)
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Microarrays, Sanger Sequencing, SOLiD Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, SNP Mapping, Antibody Staining, Sectioning for Electron Microscopy, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Time-Lapse Microscopy, Transgenesis, Mutagenesis, RNA interference(RNAi)
Research Description: We are investigating the genetic architecture underlying the morphogenesis of a model postembryonic, sexually dimorphic structure that has undergone repeated evolutionary change in shape: the male tail tip of nematodes related to Caenorhabditis elegans. We use C. elegans as a model for completely describing this network for one species and will be comparing this network to that of other species with different tail tip forms. C. elegans is used because of its amenability to genetic, genomic and cell-level analyses of development. We have a collection of >150 rhabditid species for which we have derived a multigene molecular phylogeny. Using this phylogeny, it is clear that similar tail tip forms ("peloderan" vs. "leptoderan") have repeatedly evolved. Currently, we are developing tools and reagents to investigate differences among the species with regard to the expression of homologs to genes that are key players in C. elegans tail tip morphogenesis. We will use our phylogeny to trace inferred evolutionary changes in gene network structure.
Lab Web Page: http://wormtails.bio.nyu.edu
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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