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cuomo claudiaResearch Fellowship
Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms Department

Tel. +39 081 5833255
Fax: +39 081 5833255
e-mail claudia.cuomo(at)szn.it

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Research interests

In each animal, development is under the control of an inherited genomic regulatory program, the gene regulatory network (GRN). Two echinoderm species, the sea urchin Strongyylocentrotus purpuratus and the sea star Patiria miniata, represent excellent model systems to understand how the GRN evolves. The main goal of the project is a comparative analysis between S. purpuratus and P. miniata to reconstruct the Gene Regulatory Network downstream of the ParaHox genes Xlox and Cdx, involved in posterior gut formation, with a combined RNA-Seq/ChIP-Seq approach, and to assess the degree of conservation with Vertebrates. We will identify direct and direct targets of Xlox and Cdx proteins to reveal the regulatory states that characterize the entire process of sea urchin and sea star gut development. The comparison among the two reconstructed GRNs downstream of Xlox and Cdx would help to identify the kernel elements that didn't change during evolution, as well as the intrinsic differences in the GRN accumulated during the evolution of both lineages.


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