Seminars, events & talks

Wednesday, 21th May, 2014, 11:00

Exploring hibernation in mammals through transcriptomics: the case of the hibernating lemur

Hibernation is a complex physiological response some mammalian species employ to evade energetic demands. Hibernators conserve energy by essentially “shutting down” physiological processes; metabolic rate is severely depressed, body temperature plummets to ambient levels, and brain activity is greatly diminished (reviewed in Carey et al., 2003). In recent years the study of the molecular processes involved in mammalian hibernation has shifted from investigating a few carefully selected candidate genes to large-scale analysis of differential gene expression. The availability of high-throughput data provides an unprecedented opportunity to ask whether phylogenetically distant species show similar mechanisms of genetic control, and how these relate to particular genes and pathways involved in the hibernation phenotype.

In this talk, we are going to present our ongoing research in this field, comparing the genetic controls of hibernation in several mammalian species and presenting some results about the genetic regulation in the only primate known to naturally exhibit this behavior: the dwarf lemur (genus Cheirogaleus), endemic to Madagascar.

Carey, H. V, Andrews, M. T., & Martin, S. L. Mammalian hibernation: cellular and molecular responses to depressed metabolism and low temperature. Physiological reviews 2003; Vol: 83, 4 pages, doi:10.1152/physrev.00008.2003

Speaker: José Luis Villanueva - Evolutionary Genomics Group

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