Meeting Abstract

P3.78  Sunday, Jan. 6  The molecular mechanisms of germline regeneration in Parhyale hawaiensis KACZMARCZYK, A.N*; PATEL, N.; Univ. of California, Berkeley; Univ. of California, Berkeley

Germline cells play a unique role in sexually reproducing organisms – these cells form the gametes that maintain the continuity of genetic information across generations. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the specification of the germline are well understood in several genetic model organisms. However, studies on the adult germline stem cell (GSC) niche are limited to model organisms such as D. melanogaster, C. elegans, and M. musculus. The crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis displays a remarkable property of germline development; ablation of the germline (g) blastomere in the embryo can be compensated for during a later post-embryonic period, resulting in fertile animals and normal offspring. Currently, the molecular mechanisms involved in this germline replacement are unknown. I hypothesize that in germline ablated juvenile Parhyale, cell-cell signaling in the intact, but empty (no germline cells) somatic gonads, possibly mediated by Dpp signaling, can recruit somatic cells and induce them into germline fates. This phenomenon makes Parhyale an attractive model to study germline specification, the germline stem cell niche, and ultimately germline regeneration.