In this talk, Professor Fernando Casares will discuss ongoing experiments trying to address how organ size varies during evolution and how organ size is restored during regeneration.
For the first question (organ size variation) we are comparing the transcriptional and epigenomic profiles of the developing eye primordia in two fly species (Drosophila melanogaster and Episyrphus balteatus) whose adult eyes differ dramatically in size.
For the second question (organ regeneration), we are investigating how the gills of a mayfly (a mostly aquatic basal insect) regenerate fully in just a few days. Specifically, we are asking how is the dynamics of gill regenerative growth, how does the whole animal respond to the (experimentally induced) gill loss and the ensuing regeneration, and what does the transcriptomic analysis tell us about the underlying mechanisms.
Professor Fernando Casares is a Spanish biologist interested in understanding how cell collectives make use of the information in their genome to specify the types, numbers and arrangements of cells during organ development, evolution and regeneration.
His lab works with Drosophila and a number of other, non-model (but fascinating) insects. To tackle these questions, the Casares lab uses developmental genetics, genomics, quantitative imaging and mathematical/computational modelling. Fernando is a Full Professor of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and works at the CABD (the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology) a wonderful institute located in the equally wonderful city of Seville, Spain.