the door to discovering genes that, when lost, give an advantage to certain environmental stressors (diet, climate, pathogens, toxins, etc.) and therefore , could help identify new genes with possible therapeutic interest. Oikopleura dioica : a new research model organism at the UB Leveraging basic research with model organisms – bacteria, mouse, yeast, plants, zebrafish, Drosophila or Caenorhabditis elegans – has been key to driving advances in biomedicine and health. For scientists, one of the challenges of the 21st century is to develop alternative animal models to classical models that allow the application of massive sequencing or systematic genetic modification technologies to open up new perspectives in the field of basic research. Only by generating basic knowledge is it possible to advance the well-being of society.
Today, the Evo-Devo-Genomics group Cayman-Islands Email List at the University of Barcelona is one of the few research groups in the world that studies the O. dioica model from the perspective of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) . It is also the only group in the entire State that has promoted a scientific infrastructure – there are two more in Bergen (Norway) and Osaka (Japan) – considered as a benchmark for international projection with the capacity to develop and study this new model organism. O. dioica is a small animal, with a short life cycle, very prolific and easy to maintain in the laboratory, conditions that make it an excellent model animal. Its genome, fully sequenced, is remarkably compact – three times smaller than that of the Drosophila fly – and it has lost many genes. At present, experts at the University of Barcelona use
dioica as an evolutionary mutant that has lost many genes important for embryonic development. The group works in two lines of research. On the one hand, use O. dioicato investigate the effect of toxic compounds on the development and reproduction of marine animals, as well as their impact on the food chains of the oceans. On the other hand, he uses O. dioica to study how gene losses have affected the mechanisms of cardiac development. “We hope that these studies will make it possible to identify the minimum set of genes essential for developing a heart, which could help to better understand the genetic bases of certain cardiomyopathies and discover new genes to improve their diagnosis,” conclude Ricard Albalat and Cristian Cañestro.that illegitimate children survive longer than legitimate ones,