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Msc project


Studying life at microscopic scale: variant mitoses in non-model organisms

 Biogenesis and Function


Supervisor: Luca Cirino and Mónica Bettencourt-Dias

IGC Group: Cell Cycle Regulation Lab

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Our current knowledge of mitosis and meiosis, two peculiar eukaryotic processes, is mainly based on a limited number of model organisms, mostly composed of complex multicellular eukaryotes. In contrast, very little is known regarding cellular division processes and the relative cytoskeletal components involved in protists, the predominant constituents of Eukarya. Exploring mitotic processes that fall outside canonical models could provide valuable insight into the evolution of the cellular division and the cytoskeleton. In light of this, the present project aims at investigating cellular division configurations in several non-model organisms, with a particular focus on the cytoskeletal architectural rearrangements at the onset of the mitotic process. Great efforts will be dedicated to develop efficient culture protocols and determine life cycle environmental triggers for organisms seldom housed in laboratories. Electron and fluorescence microscopy will be then employed to characterize the early remodeling signs exhibited by the cytoskeleton before mitotic division in these largely unknown organisms.