ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-110915-1
Minguillon Lab
PI/Director: Minguillón, Carolina
Contact Person: Minguillón, Carolina
Email: carolina.minguillon@ibmb.csic.es
URL: http://www.ibmb.csic.es/index.php?pg=laboratorio&idLaboratorio=37&tab=lab_home
Address: CSIC-Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona Parc Científic de Barcelona C/ Baldiri i Reixac, 10 08028, Barcelona, Spain
Country: Spain
Phone: +34 93 4020234
Fax: +34 93 4034979
Line Designation: ib

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How the final form of a given embryo, tissue or organ is acquired during embryonic development, a process referred to as morphogenesis, is a key question for developmental biologists. Morphogenesis is driven by distinct combinations of gene expression that lead to changes in a range of cellular properties such as cell motility, cell adhesion and cell polarity, among others.

Research in our lab aims to shed some light into specific aspects of profound morphogenetic changes that occur during vertebrate embryonic development. Briefly, we aim to characterise the morphogenetic events that are required for proper development of the vertebrate heart and limbs. We expect that the development of these two tissues will tell us about morphogenetic processes involving cell migration, cell-cell communication, cell adhesion and later cell differentiation.

The animal model we use is zebrafish due to their ease of embryo accessibility, relatively low cost, and the great advantage of looking at the expression of a fluorescent reporter gene in the transparent, ex utero developing living embryo. Moreover, the long-standing use of this system as an experimental model is marked by the constant development of new techniques such as morpholino knock-down or transgenesis.


The two main research objectives of the lab are as follows:

1. analysis of the morphogenetic processes that the embryonic heart and limbs undergo under normal developmental conditions

We aim to follow in vivo the precursor cells that will give rise to the heart and limbs during development using transgenic lines that express a fluorescent reporter in these tissues using live-embryo time-lapse analyses. We generate these reporter transgenic lines in the lab, by combining in silico identification of candidate regulatory regions of genes that are expressed in our favourite tissues linked to in vivo testing of these candidate regions using zebrafish as a model system.

2. alterations of the morphogenetic processes that the embryonic heart and limbs undergo under certain mutant conditions: a candidate approach
We aim to analyse in detail how and at which level the morphogenetic processes that the embryonic heart and limbs undergo are disrupted when certain zebrafish genes, that we have described and isolated through various approaches in the lab, are mutated. Again, the animal model we use is zebrafish due the constant development of new techniques such as morpholino knock-down or transgenesis.

Pi-Roig, Aina Graduate Student

Sánchez-Iranzo, H., Galardi-Castilla, M., Minguillón, C., Sanz-Morejón, A., González-Rosa, J.M., Felker, A., Ernst, A., Guzmán-Martínez, G., Mosimann, C., Mercader, N. (2018) Tbx5a lineage tracing shows cardiomyocyte plasticity during zebrafish heart regeneration. Nature communications. 9:428
Ocaña, O.H., Coskun, H., Minguillón, C., Murawala, P., Tanaka, E.M., Galcerán, J., Muñoz-Chápuli, R., Nieto, M.A. (2017) A right-handed signalling pathway drives heart looping in vertebrates. Nature. 549:86-90
Pi-Roig, A., Martin-Blanco, E., Minguillón, C. (2014) Distinct tissue-specific requirements for the zebrafish tbx5 genes during heart, retina and pectoral fin development. Open Biology. 4:140014
Hernández-Vega, A., and Minguillón, C. (2011) The Prx1 limb enhancers: Targeted gene expression in developing zebrafish pectoral fins. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 240(8):1977-88
Albalat, R., Baquero, M., and Minguillón, C. (2010) Identification and characterisation of the developmental expression pattern of tbx5b, a novel tbx5 gene in zebrafish. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 10(1):24-30
Horton, A.C., Mahadevan, N.R., Minguillón, C., Osoegawa, K., Rokhsar, D.S., Ruvinsky, I., Jong, P.J., Logan, M.P., and Gibson-Brown, J.J. (2008) Conservation of linkage and evolution of developmental function within the Tbx2/3/4/5 subfamily of T-box genes: implications for the origin of vertebrate limbs. Development genes and evolution. 218(11-12):613-628
Minguillón, C., and Logan, M. (2004) Developmental biology reaches new lineages. Genome biology. 5(7):333
Minguillón, C., Jiménez-Delgado, S., Panopoulou, G., and Garcia-Fernàndez, J. (2003) The amphioxus Hairy family: differential fate after duplication. Development (Cambridge, England). 130(24):5903-5914
Ferrier, D.E., and Minguillón, C. (2003) Evolution of the Hox/ParaHox gene clusters. The International journal of developmental biology. 47(7-8):605-611
Minguillón, C., Ferrier, D.E., Cebrián, C., and Garcia-Fernàndez, J. (2002) Gene duplications in the prototypical cephalochordate amphioxus. Gene. 287(1-2):121-128
Ferrier, D.E., Minguillón, C., Holland, P.W., and Garcia-Fernàndez, J. (2000) The amphioxus Hox cluster: deuterostome posterior flexibility and Hox14. Evolution & development. 2(5):284-293