Lucas Brenes

Investigating Adult Germline Regeneration in an Amphipod Crustacean

Regeneration is an organism’s ability to regrow and compensate for damage to specific cell lineages, and the extent to which it can occur varies greatly among species.  My research focuses on the germline, which is the cell lineage entrusted with producing and maintaining gametes that contribute to the creation of offspring.  The ability to regenerate the germline is predominately observed in species that can undergo total body plan regeneration such as flatworms and sponges. Parhyale hawaiensishowever, is an amphipod crustacean that has been shown to regenerate its germline post-hatching despite not having full body plan regenerative capabilities. I am testing the limits of this novel process by ablating the germline in adults and observing if mature Parhyale retain this ability.  In order to investigate this pathway I am using the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system and the NTR/Mtz cell ablation method to create a transgenic lineage that I will use to accurately target only germ cells in adult Parhyale. My goal is to further clarify the capacity of this regenerative pathway in this alternative model for arthropod development.

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