We are very happy to announce that Victor was awarded an EMBO long term fellowship. The fellowship will support his postdoctoral work over the next two years. Congratulations!
There is no need to say that Japanese food is absolutely delicious. We love the Soba noodle soups are at lunch during field work days, all kinds of tempuras, tofu dishes such as Agadashi tofu and the super fresh seafood. There are also many tasty fruits and veggies. The local citrus Shinquesar as juice and ice cream and the Goya bitter melon are our absolute favourite. The Okinawan islands have also many local specialties such as sahimi of many kinds of local fish, peanut tofu as well as (for people with good nerves) goat sashimi and pork knuckles. And let´s not forget the local Aguu pork which is served for example as a fantastic ginger pork set meal including sahimi, soup and seaweed. Oishi!
Ginger pork set meal
This year, Liz, Diana, Philipp and Annika joined again our Japanese collaborators from the Hatta lab (Tokyo), Ueno lab (Okazaki) and Maruyama lab (Sendai) at Sesoko Marine Station on Okinawa to collect coral larvae for comparative experiments in the field. Coral were collected on the 1st of June around Sesoko island and transferred to the water tables. Over the next few days, night snorkelling to watch out for spawning on the reef right in front of the station started. As predicted by the team leader Masayuki Hatta, Acropora corals spawned during the night of the 6th of June and after a busy night of gamete collection and mixing sperm and eggs for fertilization, coral embryos developed into planula larvae which were used for experiments. 4 days after fertilization, coral larvae are ready to be ship and, after a fun night out with delicious Japanese food and beer at our favorite Izakaya in Nago City, our Japanese colleagues went back home to continue their experiments at their home institutes. The Guse lab continued to enjoy the snorkelling and working at Sesoko for another week trying to learn as much as possible about the natural coral reef habitats and rearing coral larvae and metamorphosed polyps. We also brought some coral babies home and hope to keep them happy and alive in Heidelberg. Anyways, we all hope to be back in 2018 to witness that amazing event of synchronous coral spawning induced by the lunar cycle that occurs only once every year.
The reef at Sesoko Marine Station
One of our main activities: snorkeling
Collected corals in water table
Coral are setting to get ready for releasing their gametes
Monitoring the spawning & collecting gamtes
Lab work during spawning night
Izakaya night to celebrate a successful coral spawning 2017
How did it go? Super well!
Starting in 2017, our research on the molecular mechanisms underlying intracellular coral-algal symbiosis will be supported by nearly 2.3 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) for the next five years. This award recognizes the potential of Aiptasia as a powerful model system and allows us to launch many new and exciting projects on two fundamental aspects of symbiosis establishment: symbiont acquisition and the metabolic dependance of the host. Can it get any better? I don’t think so.
This years COS-Party centered around Spartakus, a roman slave and gladiator (111-71 BC) who got famous for organizing a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic.
Thanks to a group of highly creative COS PhD students and Postdocs, this party turned out to become much more than an ordinary Toga party: the venue was transformed into an area with ancient pillars, archs and vormitorium. The orchestrated use of music (thanks to COS PI Alexis Maizel alias DJ Engrailed), beamer, lasers and fog machines recreated the feel of being a member of the lowest class of society in the midst of the harsh reality in the ancient Rome. The extraordinary costumes did the rest. As last year, the best costume award will most likely go again to the Lemke lab. I think ballot-rigging is the only way to stop them. Worth mentioning is also the costume of the Centanin lab who showed up as a Caesar Salad. However, even without being anywhere close to be best-in-show the Guse Lab members made a very strong appearance on the dance floor as the cutest mermaids ever seen as COS surrounding Neptune, their fearless leader. Pics are to come soon – just wait and see for yourself.
In a recent review article in Trends in Cell Biology, Bob Goldstein (UC Chapel Hill) and Nicole King (University of California Berkeley) propose that the ease with which state-of-the-art research tools these days can be applied to various emerging model organisms leads the way into the future of cell biology. The technical advances allowing genome sequencing, genome editing, transcriptomics and imaging to be applied to many non-traditional systems allows to study many novel questions at the molecular level. The given examples of emerging models include tardigrades (waterbears) to study survival of extremes, choanoflagellates to analyze animal origins as well as our favorite Aipasia as a model for coral symbiosis. To learn more check out the paper:
The podcast can be found here!
I am very happy to join the EMBO YIP program starting in 2017! 25 young group leaders within the life sciences were selected as new members of this Young Investigator network. The programme aims to support promising young group leaders in Europe while setting up their labs, focusing on networking. Please check out the official press release here and find out more about all new YIPs in the Winter 2016 issue of the magazine EMBO encounters.
We are happy to welcome Victor Jones as a new Postdoc to the lab. Victor finished his PhD at Oxford University working on the evolution of rooting cells in land plants using the emerging model plant, the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha.
Here comes our most recent publication with the title: “Aiptasia sp. larvae as a model to reveal mechanisms of symbiont selection in cnidarians” Well done, people!
Some bad scans of the nice Polaroids we took at the paper celebration party: