12:00 Noon, Monday, 17 May
Room 208, 2nd Floor
720 Cumberland St
Assoc. Prof. Caroline Beck
Department of Zoology, University of Otago
‘Telling tales of tadpole’s tails’
Tadpoles of the clawed frog Xenopus laevis can regenerate their spinal cord-containing tails, producing a new functional tail in just one week. However, they are not always successful at this, and some tadpoles heal rather than regenerate. We have found that raising tadpoles in antibiotic media alters their skin microbiome, and also makes them less likely to regenerate. Conversely, adding heat killed E.coli or purified LPS to the tadpole’s medium after amputation makes them more likely to regenerate, hinting at a role for the skin microbiome in regeneration. We are currently undertaking a large scale analysis to determine the origin and nature of the tadpole’s microbiome. We also seek to uncover the mechanism by which commensal bacteria might influence this regeneration, through interaction with the tadpole’s innate immune system, particularly TLR4, which we have targeted with CRISPR/Cas9.