University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences Presents:
Friday Noon Seminar Series 2017-2018
Graduate Student: Mathew Hurton
"Identifying Maternal Factors Responsible for Zygotic Genome Activation"
Early embryos undergo dramatic gene regulatory changes. Initially, the zygotic genome is transcriptionally silent, and maternally provided RNAs drive embryogenesis. Subsequently, embryonic transcription begins, and a large influx of embryonic transcripts results in a switch from maternal to zygotic control of embryogenesis. In zebrafish, three maternal transcription factors, Nanog, Sox19b, and Pou5f3 activate the majority of embryonic gene, during a period of development called Zygotic Genome Activation (ZGA). However, it is likely that additional maternal factors participate as well. In this talk, I will present our on-going efforts to identify and characterize these factors. By intersecting diverse high-throughput measurements of the early embryo, including RNA-seq, ribosome profiling, and ChIP-Seq, I have identified several candidate maternal regulators of embryonic gene activation. Many of these factors have orthologs that were previously shown to regulate early development and pluripotency induction and maintenance in mammals, suggesting that they may play homologous roles in zebrafish. Moving forward, I will use genetic approaches including knock-down and CRISPR-Cas9-mediated mutagenesis to characterize their functions in the early embryo. Together, these analyses will expand our understanding of genetic regulation in the early embryo and how transcriptional reprogramming effects fundamental changes to cellular identity.
Friday, November 10, 2017
A219B Langley Hall
12:00 PM Seminar