Beckman Coulter Genomics Presents Using Next-Gen Sequencing to Study the Evolution of Neural Circuitry

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The April 30, 2015 Webinar will look at the evolution of behavior at the levels of single neurons, neural circuits, and their synaptic connections as it is related to the swimming behavior of sea slugs.

Adriano Senatore, PhD, MSc, BSc - NSERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University

Beckman Coulter is sponsoring a new educational webinar, “Using Next-Gen sequencing to study the evolution of neural circuitry and swimming behavior of sea slugs,” with Adriano Senatore, which will review the mechanisms by which analogous forms of swimming behavior, such as dorsal-ventral (DV) or left-right (LR) body flexions, evolved independently in certain sea slug clades. The webinar is free to attend and will be broadcast live April 30, 2015 at 8:00am PT.

Sea slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudipleura) provide unique opportunities for studying the evolution of behavior at the levels of single neurons, neural circuits, and their synaptic connections. Of particular interest to us are the mechanisms by which analogous forms of swimming behavior, such as dorsal-ventral (DV) or left-right (LR) body flexions, evolved independently in certain sea slug clades.

Transcriptome sequencing has been useful for this research in two ways: first, it provides a means for characterizing the phylogenetic relationships amongst sea slug species, where robust phylogenetic trees can be constructed using hundreds of orthologous gene sequences. Indeed, a strong understanding of species phylogeny is a necessary pre-requisite for formulating hypotheses about how DV and LR swimming might have evolved in different lineages. Secondly, transcriptome sequencing provides unprecedented access to gene sequences from the sea slug brain, which can be used to probe the molecular mechanisms by which single neurons are recruited into rhythmic circuits to drive analogous forms of swimming.

To illustrate, the lab previously found that in two species that independently evolved DV swimming, homologous single neurons called C2 independently acquired sensitivity to serotonin (5HT) to potentiate their synapses and activate their corresponding DV swimming neural circuits. We are now testing the hypothesis that convergent alterations in 5HT receptor function/expression in C2 neurons is responsible for this synaptic potentiation, having identified from the transcriptomes full length sequences for all known molluscan 5HT receptors.

Dr. Adriano Senatore obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, where he studied the molecular physiology and evolution of ion channels. He received a Governor General’s Gold Medal Award for his discoveries about the mechanisms of ion channel selectivity and its evolution. As an NSERC-funded postdoctoral research fellow at Georgia State University (GSU), Adriano has spearheaded efforts to implement transcriptomics towards the study how rhythmic neural circuits in the sea slug brain independently evolved to give rise to analogous forms of swimming behavior in different species. He has also played a central role in promoting transcriptome research at GSU, where he has overseen the establishment of numerous bioinfomatic software pipelines for transcriptome assembly and annotation on the local high performance (HPC) computer, and was part of a consortium of researchers that orchestrated a hardware expansion of the HPC system. Adriano is now preparing for a faculty position at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where he intends to merge his backgrounds in molecular biology and ion channel physiology with transcriptomics and systems level analyses to study evolution of the nervous system.

The complimentary webinar, hosted by LabRoots, will be presented on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 8:00am PDT, 11:00am EDT, 4:00pm GMT.

For full details and free registration, click here.

About Beckman Coulter:
Beckman Coulter Genomics, headquartered in Danvers, Massachusetts, sets the standard for delivering expert genomics solutions to life science and healthcare businesses as well as academic and government institutions worldwide. By providing technical expertise, combined with personalized service, Beckman Coulter Genomics delivers the highest quality data, robust analyses and innovative thinking.

About LabRoots:
LabRoots is the leading scientific social networking website and producer of online educational events and webinars. And we are a powerful advocate in amplifying global networks and communities, and contributing to the advancement of science through content sharing capabilities and encouraging group interactions.

Founded in 2008, LabRoots emphasizes digital innovation in scientific collaboration and learning. We have become a primary source for current scientific news, webinars, virtual conferences and more. Join for free and become part of the largest scientific learning community in the world.

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