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Michael Schoppmeier

Department Biology, FAU Erlangen
Tüblingstr 39
Erlangen, By 91058


Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Sanger Sequencing, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, SOLiD Sequencing, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Transgenesis, Mutagenesis, RNA interference(RNAi), Morpholinos
Research Description: We are studying the evolution of the segmentation process using the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum as model. In the last decade Tribolium has become a model system for comparative developmental biology. Many genetic and molecular techniques, including chemical and insertional mutagenesis, systemic RNA interference, and germ-line transformation are available for Tribolium. Blastodermal patterning How is the Tribolium embryo patterned and which spatial cues are involved in setting up the anterior to posterior axis? To answer these questions we are analyzing the maternal system of Tribolium by functional and transgenic essays. Interestingly most maternal factors that have crucial roles in patterning the Drosophila blastoderm are either not present in Tribolium (e.g. bicoid) or have different roles during early segmentation (e.g. orthodenticle, caudal, nanos, pumilio), indicating that blastoderm patterning in Tribolium may involve additional, possibly short-germ specific genes. Axis formation during oogenesis In Drosophila axis formation is the direct consequence of symmetry-breaking events that take place throughout oogenesis. In the polytrophic meroistic mode of Drosophila oogenesis each growing oocyte is supported by an individual subset of clonal nurse cells. Tribolium, however, represents telotrophic oogenesis. In each ovariole the nurse cells of all cysts are kept in at the terminal region (Tropharium) and the oocytes will be nourished by elongating nutritive cords connecting the growing oocytes with the Tropharium. To get insights into the symmetry-breaking events during telotrophic oogenesis, we have started to analyze the molecular mechanisms controlling Tribolium oogenesis. This includes oocyte selection and encapsulation, follicle cell patterning, and the regulation of different stem cell populations.
Lab Web Page: http://science.schoppmeier.org
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
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