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Peter Ladurner

University of Innsbruck
Insitute of Zoology
Technikerstrasse 25
Innsbruck, Tyrol 6020


Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Sanger Sequencing, Antibody Staining, Sectioning for Histology, Sectioning for Electron Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Transgenesis, RNA interference(RNAi)
Research Description: My focus is on the molecular mechanisms of stem cell and germ cell maintenance differentiation in flatworm model systems Macrostomum lignano and Isodiametra pulchra. In flatworms, stem cells - called neoblasts - are the only source for cell renewal during development and regeneration. They differentiate into all cell types including germ cells and power the remarkable regenerative capacity of flatworms. The genetic networks that control stem cells have been shown to be highly conserved. The flatworm stem cell system represents a simple, highly potent and accessible model to address a variety of important biomedical questions. We have developed tools including in situ hybridization, RNAi, and generated monoclonal antibodies. We initiated transcriptome and genome sequencing of both species. In a recent breakthrough we succeeded in the generation of transgenic M. lignano. We study expression and function of stem cell and germ line related genes in adult animals, during postembryonic development and during regeneration. We study the effect of irradiation and starvation on stem cell and germ line genes. Bromodeoxyuridine together with other markers and electron microscopy are used to analyze the distribution, migration and differentiation of stem cells.
Lab Web Page: http://www.uibk.ac.at/zoology/staff/ladurner/
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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