Single Oocyte Genomics
Advancements in high throughput sequencing and mRNA linear amplification have facilitated the ability to measure full transcriptome from low amounts of RNA. This technological advancement now enables the evaluation of the level of every mRNA in a single cell. Yet, although these tools revolutionized studies in many systems, it has been impossible to use them in some biological tissues. The nuclei in the C. elegans gonad are arranged in a perfect temporal manner yet they all share the same cytoplasm (syncytium). Thus, although it is possible to find all the meiotic stages in a single gonad arm, it has so far been impossible to analyze the transcriptome in a single nucleus.
Togather with colleagues, we recently developed a method to overcome this hurdle and we now have full transcriptome data for every stage of oocyte development. We are mining this dataset and have found surprising results. We intend to continue using this method to find changes in transcription under different conditions and genetic backgrounds.
Students with strong background in computational biology and data mining are encouraged to join us to work on this exciting project.