02 April 2018

Neff, 2018

Neff EP. 2018. The Marmorkrebs model. Lab Animal 47(4): 107-107. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41684-018-0030-y


Without abstract. First paragraph:

In his lab at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Frank Lyko studies epigenetics, how the environment can change an organism’s phenotype without altering its underlying DNA. About 15 years ago, a colleague introduced him to the marbled crayfish, a triploid, clonal, parthenogenic, and only very recently speciated invertebrate that’s proven to be quite the invasive pest across the globe. At the time, the Marmorkrebs (as it’s known in German) didn’t register in Lyko’s research plans. But recently, he began thinking about alternative models. Classical laboratory animals, like mice, worms, and fruit flies, “always have the same phenotype, and if you induce a genetic mutation you get one aberrant phenotype normally,” he explains. “This is super helpful if you do genetic research but it’s not necessarily good for describing what’s going on in epigenetics.” He tried honeybees, but found them challenging to keep in the laboratory. His lab wasn’t fond of another potential epigenetic model, the African desert locust, either. “These were really big animals and they were always escaping and flying around, so that was a mess,” he recalls. “Then I remembered my old conversation with G√ľnter Vogt.”

Keywords: None provided.

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