Biomineralization, a process that is found across the Tree of Life, is the formation of minerals by living organisms. Animal calcification is the controlled deposition of calcium carbonate to produce supportive structures in both vertebrates and invertebrate taxa. Biominerals are composed of both inorganic minerals and proteins, which give them extra hardness and special attributes. Biomineralization proteins are also known to be associated with multiple bone disorders and are therefore of biomedical importance. As a first step towards cataloging and curating biomineralization proteins chapter one describes BioMine-DB (http://biomine.net), a biomineralization centric protein database. In chapter two I attempt to increase the phylogenetic representation of the lophotrochozoan biomineralization genetic information. This is done by sequencing transcriptomes from the biomineralizing tissue (mantle) of several molluscan species with publicly available whole genome data: Lottia gigantea, Crassostrea gigas, Aplysia californica and Biomphalaria glabrata I found that multiple protein families are shared between the four species, A. californica albeit having a reduced shell as an adult still retains many of the known biomineralization related proteins.
In chapter three I try to understand the tight intracellular mutualism that occurs between corals and single cell algae of the genus Symbiodinium . Corals survive in oligotrophic waters by nutrient recycling and carbon translocation from their algal symbionts. Using whole genome data for metabolic complementarity reconstruction, my analysis revealed Symbiodinium’s metabolic capacity is limited and requires support from not only the host, but also the bacterial component of the holobiont. Thus, I show that the coral-algal interaction is not always mutualistic and it is the bacteria that act as mediators to generate a successful coral-algal-bacterial symbiosis. The emergent ensemble of interactions among multiple partners confers robustness to the holobiont. These findings demonstrate the importance of multipartite interactions in the evolution of symbiotic assemblages and the utility of genomics to comprehensively study these multidimensional systems.
|Commitee:||Fisher, Charles, Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto, Kawasaki, Kazuhiko, Langkilde, Tracy, Macalady, Jennifer L., Medina, Monica|
|School:||The Pennsylvania State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Molecular biology|
|Keywords:||Biomineralization, Coral, Genome, Holobrout, Homology, Homoplazy|
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