Embryo microinjection of the lecithotrophic sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma.



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Microinjection is a common embryological technique used for many types of experiments, including lineage tracing, manipulating gene expression, or genome editing. Injectable reagents include mRNA overexpression, mis-expression, or dominant-negative experiments to examine a gene of interest, a morpholino antisense oligo to prevent translation of an mRNA or spliceoform of interest and CRISPR-Cas9 reagents. Thus, the technique is broadly useful for basic embryological studies, constructing gene regulatory networks, and directly testing hypotheses about cis-regulatory and coding sequence changes underlying the evolution of development. However, the methods for microinjection in typical planktotrophic marine invertebrates may not work well in the highly modified eggs and embryos of lecithotrophic species. This protocol is optimized for the lecithotrophic sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma.





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Edgar, Allison, Maria Byrne and Gregory A Wray (2019). Embryo microinjection of the lecithotrophic sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma. Journal of biological methods, 6(3). p. e119. 10.14440/jbm.2019.292 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19556.

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Gregory Allan Wray

Professor of Biology

I study the evolution of genes and genomes with the broad aim of understanding the origins of biological diversity. My approach focuses on changes in the expression of genes using both empirical and computational approaches and spans scales of biological organization from single nucleotides through gene networks to entire genomes. At the finer end of this spectrum of scale, I am focusing on understanding the functional consequences and fitness components of specific genetic variants within regulatory sequences of several genes associated with ecologically relevant traits. At the other end of the scale, I am developing molecular and analytical methods to detect changes in gene function throughout entire genomes, including statistical frameworks for detecting natural selection on regulatory elements and empirical approaches to identify functional variation in transcriptional regulation. At intermediate scales, I am investigating functional variation within a dense gene network in the context of wild populations and natural perturbations. My research leverages the advantages of several different model systems, but primarily focuses on sea urchins and primates (including humans).

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