Kuehn Emily

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  • Article
    Segment number threshold determines juvenile onset of germline cluster expansion in Platynereis dumerilii
    (Wiley, 2021-11-18) Kuehn, Emily ; Clausen, David S. ; Null, Ryan W. ; Metzger, Bria M. ; Willis, Amy D. ; Ozpolat, B. Duygu
    Development of sexual characters and generation of gametes are tightly coupled with growth. Platynereis dumerilii is a marine annelid that has been used to study germline development and gametogenesis. P. dumerilii has germ cell clusters found across the body in the juvenile worms, and the clusters eventually form the gametes. Like other segmented worms, P. dumerilii grows by adding new segments at its posterior end. The number of segments reflect the growth state of the worms and therefore is a useful and measurable growth state metric to study the growth-reproduction crosstalk. To understand how growth correlates with progression of gametogenesis, we investigated germline development across several developmental stages. We discovered a distinct transition period when worms increase the number of germline clusters at a particular segment number threshold. Additionally, we found that keeping worms short in segment number, by manipulating environmental conditions or via amputations, supported a segment number threshold requirement for germline development. Finally, we asked if these clusters in P. dumerilii play a role in regeneration (as similar free-roaming cells are observed in Hydra and planarian regeneration) and found that the clusters were not required for regeneration in P. dumerilii, suggesting a strictly germline nature. Overall, these molecular analyses suggest a previously unidentified developmental transition dependent on the growth state of juvenile P. dumerilii leading to substantially increased germline expansion.
  • Dataset
    A scalable culturing system for the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii
    (Public Library of Science, 2019-12-05) Kuehn, Emily ; Stockinger, Alexander W. ; Girard, Jerome ; Raible, Florian ; Ozpolat, B. Duygu
    Platynereis dumerilii is a marine segmented worm (annelid) with externally fertilized embryos and it can be cultured for the full life cycle in the laboratory. The accessibility of embryos and larvae combined with the breadth of the established molecular and functional techniques has made P. dumerilii an attractive model for studying development, cell lineages, cell type evolution, reproduction, regeneration, the nervous system, and behavior. Traditionally, these worms have been kept in rooms dedicated for their culture. This allows for the regulation of temperature and light cycles, which is critical to synchronizing sexual maturation. However, regulating the conditions of a whole room has limitations, especially if experiments require being able to change culturing conditions. Here we present scalable and flexible culture methods that provide ability to control the environmental conditions, and have a multi-purpose culture space. We provide a closed setup shelving design with proper light conditions necessary for P. dumerilii to mature. We also implemented a standardized method of feeding P. dumerilii cultures with powdered spirulina which relieves the ambiguity associated with using frozen spinach, and helps standardize nutrition conditions across experiments and across different labs. By using these methods, we were able to raise mature P. dumerilii, capable of spawning and producing viable embryos for experimentation and replenishing culture populations. These methods will allow for the further accessibility of P. dumerilii as a model system, and they can be adapted for other aquatic organisms.