Dr. Senjie Lin and colleagues in several countries published a discovery that DNA methylation, an immune like mechanism in unicellular organisms to silence expression of “invading” DNA, has been “hijacked” by a type of invading DNA (retroposon) in dinoflagellates and other eukaryotes. Recently published in Nature Communications, the work suggests that at least in the dinoflagellates, the acquired DNA methylation can potentially help the invading DNA to evade the immune like machinery of the cell. If proven, this will be an intriguing case of “arms race” at the molecular level.
Link to the publication: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03724-9
Hannes Baumann, an assistant professor in the University of Connecticut’s Department of Marine Sciences is the co-PI on a project which has received more than $325,000 from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative project to study this perplexing phenomenon with Nina Therkildsen, PI on this project and assistant professor of natural resources at Cornell University. The total funding for this project is $1.2 million over three years.
Baumann and Therkildsen’s project will begin by characterizing genome-wide patterns of differentiation in silverside fish populations. The silverside exhibits a remarkable degree of local adaptation for several traits including growth rates.
You can read the complete article by Anna Zarra Aldrich here: https://today.uconn.edu/school-stories/unlocking-genomic-mechanisms-atlantic-silverside/.
Hannes Baumann and his research team sampling silversides with a beach seine in Mumford Cove, CT. (Chris Murray/UConn Photo)
Ann Bucklin received an award for service from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Council, Science Committee, and Secretariat.
The Service Award was given in recognition of her leading role in the ICES community, including contributions to ICES as Chair of the Working Group on Integrated Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy (WGIMT, see http://www.ices.dk/community/groups/Pages/WGIMT.aspx and http://wgimt.net/) from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2017. Ann remains an active member of WGIMT and ICES!
Annual 2017 meeting of ICES WGIMT in Bolougne-sur-mer, France. Photo P.H. Wiebe (WHOI).