P.I.: Cristian Cañestro
Our group is interested in understanding the impact of gene loss on the evolution of mechanisms of development and its roles as a potential adaptive evolutionary force upon sudden environmental changes. Currently, we have two main lines of research. First, we study gene losses affecting developmental signaling pathways (Wnt, Fgf, RA, Bmp, …) during the evolution of heart development in chordates. Second, we study how embryo development is affected by toxic compounds released by blooms of marine microalgas derived from global climate change.
We mostly use Oikopleura dioica, a mesoplanktonic larvacean urochordate that has suffered an extreme process of genome compaction and gene loss, despite it has not suffered drastic morphological changes and conserves a typical chordate body plan. Our results are compared with other model animals representing the diversity of our phylum (i.e.
Bioinformatic, analytic, experimental skills
We performe comparative exhaustive gene surveys among many sequenced metazoan genomes to map gene loss events.
Lab website: http://www.ub.edu/genetica/evo-devoen/canestrore.htm
Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=zI5ZwSoAAAAJ&hl=es