One of the most productive vertebrate developmental systems, the frog embryo has been utilized for numerous embryological and molecular breakthroughs. This model currently lacks urgently-needed genetic tools for dissecting complex biological pathways. Recent technical advances in the production of transgenic Xenopus provide further impetus to the development of frogs as a genetic system. Silurana tropicalis, a close relative of Xenopus, is ideally suited for genetic studies by virtue of its small diploid genome and short generation time, and is amenable to virtually all of the highly-developed embryological and molecular techniques currently available in X. laevis. In order to advance S. tropicalis as a developmental genetic system, we propose to assemble a collection of genetic research tools, including a panel of isogenic strains, mutants, a genetic map, and a set of transgenic lines exhibiting tissue-specific reporter expression. The transgenic technique will be used to characterize cis-acting regulatory sequences of genes expressed in axial mesoderm and the developing eye. Feasibility of chemical, insertional, and targeted mutageneses will be assessed, with the goal of analyzing specific gene functions in axial morphogenesis and patterning, eye development, and the embryonic inductions underlying these events. This project is a cooperative effort among five laboratories, each of which brings unique expertise to this undertaking. Three of the laboratories are at the University of Virginia, which serves as the center for the project.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Research Project (R01)
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Genetics Study Section (GEN)
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Carrington, Jill L
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University of Virginia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Grainger, Robert M (2012) Xenopus tropicalis as a model organism for genetics and genomics: past, present, and future. Methods Mol Biol 917:3-15
Ogino, Hajime; Ochi, Haruki; Uchiyama, Chihiro et al. (2012) Comparative genomics-based identification and analysis of cis-regulatory elements. Methods Mol Biol 917:245-63
Jin, Hong; Fisher, Marilyn; Grainger, Robert M (2012) Defining progressive stages in the commitment process leading to embryonic lens formation. Genesis 50:728-40
Harland, Richard M; Grainger, Robert M (2011) Xenopus research: metamorphosed by genetics and genomics. Trends Genet 27:507-15
Ogino, Hajime; Fisher, Marilyn; Grainger, Robert M (2008) Convergence of a head-field selector Otx2 and Notch signaling: a mechanism for lens specification. Development 135:249-58
Chen, Jun-An; Chu, Sin-Tak; Amaya, Enrique (2007) Maintenance of motor neuron progenitors in Xenopus requires a novel localized cyclin. EMBO Rep 8:287-92
Huang, Jeffrey K; Dorey, Karel; Ishibashi, Shoko et al. (2007) BDNF promotes target innervation of Xenopus mandibular trigeminal axons in vivo. BMC Dev Biol 7:59
Ogino, Hajime; McConnell, William B; Grainger, Robert M (2006) Highly efficient transgenesis in Xenopus tropicalis using I-SceI meganuclease. Mech Dev 123:103-13
Ogino, Hajime; McConnell, William B; Grainger, Robert M (2006) High-throughput transgenesis in Xenopus using I-SceI meganuclease. Nat Protoc 1:1703-10
Noramly, Selina; Zimmerman, Lyle; Cox, Amanda et al. (2005) A gynogenetic screen to isolate naturally occurring recessive mutations in Xenopus tropicalis. Mech Dev 122:273-87

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