Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Searching for interesting patterns

As you may already know, one of our research area is studying the molecular background of marble pigment pattern formation in trout. The main focus of our study is marble trout and its spectacular pigmentation, but in order to develop hypothesis about general mechanism of pigment pattern formation, we are interested also in other fish that display similar marble (labyrinthine-like) patterns.

This month Dr. Ákos Horváth kindly invited us to Gödöllő. With just two hours’ drive from their Department of Aquaculture we arrived to a hatchery in Lillafüred where “Tiger trouts” are reared. These hybrids between brown and brook trout exhibit an interesting labyrinthine pigment pattern, similar to the one of marble trout. Since the owner of the hatchery György Hoitsy is a really kind man (and an excellent cook!), he let us take samples from several tiger trouts, and also their parental species. We are now excited to see if the molecular pathways involved in the formation of this pattern are similar to the one in marble trout.

>Ákos, Jelena and Zoran were excited to start sampling

>catching the samples (from the left: Simona, Gergely, Ákos, and György)

>Tiger trout

>First course of our delicious lunch at the hatchery

Apart from “field work” we also had the opportunity to discuss some future plans about the Hungarian-Slovenian project about spermatogonia transplantataion that will involve the two groups and will start next year. 
Of course we couldn’t go home without tasting some of the local cuisine, including fruit soup and the so called Hortobágyi palacsinta (pancakes filled with meat). 

>Hortobágyi palacsinta

Genetika 2015

The Genetic Society of Slovenia and the Slovenian Society for Human Genetics organised the international congress Genetika 2015, which took place in Rogaška Slatina last September.

Three days of talks included presentations of Slovenian and international scientists whose work is related to human, animal, microbial or plant genetics. There was also the traditional Golden Chromosome Award competition, which gives the opportunity to young researchers to present their work and latest results. 

This year I was among the candidates, so I presented some preliminary results we got from RNA-seq analysis of marble and brown trout skin. Beside the adrenaline rush at the beginning of the talk everything went great.

>Rogaška Slatina

>Ida during the talk

Monday, October 5, 2015

Time for something new

The transplantation of the germ cells from a donor organism into recipient organism is becoming a promising approach in preservation of endangered species, including fish. It is, for instance, theoretically possible to engineer recipient fish (e.g., easy spawners such as carp) in a way that they produce offspring of donor fish (e.g., demanding spawners such as Adriatic nase) instead of their own.

To study these transplantation methods, BTRG has just started collaboration with Dr. Ákos Horváth in a frame of Hungarian-Slovenian project, financed by OTKA and ARRS.

To find out more about theoretical basis of spermatogonia transplantation in fish, Simona and Aleš have recently attended International Workshop on the Biology of Fish Gametes in Ancona, Italy.

>The event was hosted by the Faculty of Economy "G. Fuà" Ancona in old Villarey barracks, a building in the centre of town, which used to be used as military headquarters.

>We had opportunity to meet and listen to Dr. Goro Yoshizaki, who first started spermatogonial transplantation in fish. Dr. Elsa Cabrita and Dr. Martin Pšenička were the moderators of this session. 

>We got acquainted with Dr. Jelena Lujić and Zoran Marinović (on the right) from the Ákos lab, who are about to come to our lab for the project work. Timea, Ákos and Esther in the front, Simona and Aleš in the rear.

>One of the Ancona’s highlights leading into temptation to hang out with fauns and satyrs.

>Thanks go to the local organizers with Dr.Oliana Carnevali at the head, for well-organized and nice event. Our boss MN would be overjoyed if she saw the gender ratio…