School of Engineering


Marine Genomics Europe (MGE, Network of Excellence)

Newcastle leads and participates in a work package on larval dispersal within the wider Marine Genomics Europe project.

Settlement (attachment and metamorphosis) of benthic marine invertebrates is arguably the most critical point in their life cycle. Larvae that are developmentally competent to settle respond to a variety of settlement cues of both physical and biogenic origin, the relative importance of which is species dependant. The onset of metamorphosis is thus regulated, in many instances, by environmental morphogenetic signals. An understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of developmental competence and metamorphosis is a key objective of this WP.

We will make use of molecular tools developed in the first phase of the MGE and as necessary prepare new cDNA libraries of key developmental stages to allow EST analyses of genes, expression studies during development and in response to environmental morphogenetic signals, manipulation of gene expression to analyse gene function and pathways of expression and association and phylogenetic comparison of identified genes of interest. We have identified brittlestars, tunicates and barnacles previously worked on as well as the gastropod mollusc, Crepidula fornicata as the animals for study.