Seaver Lab Publishes Paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Seaver Lab Publishes Paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Congratulations to the Seaver Lab for the recent paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B titled "CRISPR/CAS9 mutagenesis of a single r-opsin gene blocks phototaxis in a marine larva."

The first author, Stephanie Neal, is a Whitney Laboratory REU intern alumnus (2017). At the time she was an undergraduate at U. of Miami. While an intern, Stephanie won the best poster award and Stephanie presented the work at the annual SICB conference in January 2018 in San Francisco. The paper is a shared first authorship between Stephanie and Dr. Danielle deJong, a then Postdoc in the Seaver Lab. 

Paper Scientific Abstract:
Many marine animals have an indirect life cycle, and their larval forms are critical for dispersal to new habitats. Larval swimming behavior is influenced by the surrounding environmental conditions, such as differences in lighting. Light detection is mediated by light-sensitive opsin proteins.  Larvae of the marine annelid Capitella teleta have simple eyespots and swim towards the light. Mutations were generated in the single r-opsin gene expressed in the larval eyespots using CRISPR/CAS9 genome editing. Mutant larvae show a significant decrease in phototaxis behavior, demonstrating that a single r-opsin gene is sufficient to mediate phototaxis in C. teleta.

Full Paper