25 April 2020

Talasu 2020

Talasu S. 2020. Identifying dopamine receptor genes and transcription marbled crayfish. Presentation given to Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, 22 April 2020. https://digitalcommons.imsa.edu/sir_presentations/2020/session1/76/


Modulatory transmitters are major contributors to nervous system plasticity and behavioral flexibility, they determine motivational states and are involved in psychiatric and neurological disorders. Neuromodulators act through distinct receptors and the diversity in receptor subtypes and distribution allows a single neuromodulator can exert many different actions. A prerequisite to understand the ways modulators work is to identify which receptors are expressed in an animal.

I studied which Dopamine receptors are present in the Procambarus virginalis also known as Marbled Crayfish, a highly invasive female species with high quality genome and transcriptomes. Their broad behavioral repertoire makes them ideal for studying the actions of neuromodulator receptors. We focused on Dopamine receptors as they play a role in Parkinson’s disease and the reward system of vertebrates and invertebrates.

Using bioinformatics, we identified which dopamine receptors (D2Alpha and D2beta) exist in marbled crayfish. After identifying homologs of both receptors, a conserved domains search revealed no direct functional domains for these putative D2alpha and D2beta receptors. PCR with D2alpha primers on ventral nerve cord mRNA further revealed that this putative receptor is notexpressed in the marbled crayfish nervous system. We are currently testing the expression of D2beta in in the ventral nerve cord.

Keywords: None provided.

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