Research objectives and content
Despite the importance of gliogenesis in nervous system morphogenesis, the molecular mechanisms of glial differentiation have been poorly investigated. glide/gcm is a D. melanogaster gene expressed and required in glial cells. The project is aimed to determine the role of glide/gcm in gliogenesis and the genes regulating glide/gcm activity. To this purpose the effect of ubiquitous and cell type specific ectopic expression of glide/gcm will be tested. The definition In vivo of the minimal sequences necessary for glide/gcm activity will be obtained by rescue of the mutant phenotype via germ-line transformation. Finally I will perform a mutagenesis screen aimed to identify genes interacting genetically with glide/gcm by scoring for mutations that enhance or suppress the glide/gcm phenotype.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The research project I propose will enable us to determine how glide/gcm induces gliogenesis and how its activity is regulated. To better understand the molecular bases of glial cell differentiation. The proposed project implies the use of different approaches in molecular biology and genetics. The possibility of carrying on the project in an institute of outstanding quality such as the IGBMC constitutes a unique opportunity to broaden my knowledge and skills in developmental biology and neurobiology and I consider that such training is fundamental for my research career.