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Developing germline transgenesis methods in snails

Project Description

Slugs as pests destroy and spoil crop plants and cost the farming industry at least £100M a year in the UK, incurring the widespread use of toxic molluscicides. Slugs and snails are also vectors of important pathogens (e.g. schistosomes). Unfortunately, very little is known about the genetics and molecular biology of gastropod molluscs, and as a consequence, we are unable to bring modern methods to bear upon the control of problem species. Therefore, the specific aim of this PhD is to develop a straightforward and robust method to deliver transgenic vector constructs into the snail germline, with a long term view of using the method to devise methods for control of crop pests and snail vectors of disease. Taking advantage of progress made in the rotation, the student will formulate, develop and them optimise methods for accessing and then culturing snail embryos. He/she will then work with others towards the goal of stable transgenesis of snails.

The project would suit student into molecular biology and also possibly micromanipulation.

Funding Notes

This project is now open to self-funded students.


Previous BBSRC-funded students of the lab are co-authors on these papers:

Science communication is also an important part of our work e.g.,

Richards PM, Morii Y, Kimura K, Hirano T, Chiba S, Davison A (2017). Single-gene speciation: Mating and gene flow between mirror-image snails. Evolution Letters, 1: 282-291

Davison, A, McDowell, GS, Holden, JM, Johnson, HF, Koutsovoulos, GD, Liu, MM, Hulpiau, P, Van Roy, F, Wade, CM, Banerjee, R, Yang, F, Chiba, S, Davey, JW, Jackson, DJ, Levin M, and Blaxter, ML (2016). Formin is associated with left–right asymmetry in the pond snail and the frog. Current Biology, 26, 654-660

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 90.86

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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