Real-Time Quantitative Analysis of Marine and Other Organismal mRNA Transcriptome

Grant Winner

  • Jose Lopez, Ph.D. – Oceanographic Center


  • Richard Dodge – Oceanographic Center


Award Winners

State of the art molecular research with "transcriptome" based experiments using Real-Time quantitative (qPCR), is proposed to allow targeted examination of gene expression from marine organisms and microbes. Specifically, qPCR will be applied to samples of the deep water sponge, Discodermia, that hold diverse symbionts (Lopez et al, 1999), exist as distinct morphotypes, and vary in their expression of potentially therapeutic natural products (secondary metabolites), in order to verify the organismal source of mRNA. This is important scientifically because it will verify whether the novel cDNAs are related to specific phenotypes - e.g. secondary metabolite (SM) biosynthesis. Successful continuation of this project will require funds to purchase a major equipment item - a Real-Time qPCR thermalcycler - such as the iCycler ( Thus, award funding will facilitate the completion of an already existing grant project, and generate a new qPCR dataset that can be used for leveraging future grant proposals with a relatively small financial input. Also, the OC currently does not have a dedicated qPCR thermalcycler, which can then be shared with other investigators, graduate and undergraduate students interested in studying gene expression in diverse biological model systems. The research equipment will be further supported using start up funds from the OC, Overall, this research will allow expansion of scholarly activity for the university and academic community.