The Amazon Molly is a model for DNA damage studies. Females produce eggs with no paternal genetic contribution and all offspring develop as clones of the mother (this is an example of what’s called parthenogenetic reproduction). The fish develop very quickly and reach reproductive age within six months. The parthenogenetic reproduction makes it easier to study the fish, as they are genetically identical.
Currently, cancer models of the fish exist for irradiation-induced thyroid cancer and for spontaneous melanoma and we will develop other models through techniques such as chemical carcinogenesis. The fish is also a model for resistance to larger parasites and bacterial infections.
The Amazon Molly is a freshwater fish. The fish have adapted to some extreme habitats such as sulfur creeks and highly polluted waters and provide excellent models for studying the effects of physical and chemical agents on the genome.
Sequencing the Amazon Molly’s genome will provide information about immune genes and their regulation and allow for new ways of answering questions about tolerance and immune defense.
We will perform whole genome sequencing on the fish. We will compare single tumor transcriptomes with the fish’s uniform genetic background. This will identify quantitative and qualitative changes that can be correlated to pathological features of the individual tumorigenesis process. We will also perform proteomic studies, which require precise genomic information to predict the peptides identified in the mass spectrometric proteomic analysis.
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