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Gregor Bucher

Georg-August-University Goettingen
Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 11
Goettingen, Lower Saxony 37077


Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals, Tribolium castaneum
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Time-Lapse Microscopy, Transgenesis, Mutagenesis, Other, RNA interference(RNAi), in vivo imaging
Research Description: We work on the developmental genetics of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Our goal is to identify genes that are responsible for head and brain development, to reveal their interactions and understand the pattering principles. Both epidermis and brain stem cells (the so called neuroblasts) arise from the same tissue and use - at least in part - the same patterning cues. Therefore, we regard brain and epidermis as two outcomes of the same early patterning processes that should be studied together. We seek to understand the formation of the entire head from early regionalization to morphogenesis. With respect to brain development, we want to understand the early signals that give brain neuroblasts different identitites. We focus on a subset of neuroblasts that is located in a region with similarity to the anterior portion of the vertebrate forebrain. Another aim is to resolve the old and infamous "arthropod head problem": still there is no agreement on the number of segments that compose the insect head, the contribution of nonsegmental anterior tissue and the nature of the labrum. Therefore, we interprete our results also with respect to changes that underlie head evolution. To identify new genes involved in head development, we have carried out an RNAi screen and have identified head mutants from the "GEKU" insertional mutagenesis screen, a collaboration of the Ernst Wimmer lab with three more labs in Germany and the USA. currently, we are investigating the functions of a subset of these. Finally, we invest in expanding the technical possibilities of our model system. Recently, we have established heat-shock mediated misexpression and the UAS/Gal4 misexpression system as well as in vivo imaging using transgenic imaging lines.
Lab Web Page: http://wwwuser.gwdg.de/~gbucher1/
Willing to Host Undergraduates: NO
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
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