Published: Jan. 28, 2022

2021 Fall Seminar Series Presents

Dr. Scott Nichols photo

DR. SCOTT NICHOLS
Associate Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Denver

WHEN:   February 4, at Noon
WHEN:   Seminar will be presented via Zoom

Please email Jacki Craig to receive the Zoom Meeting Link. Requests can be submitted any time before the Seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.

Tracing the ancestry of muscle tissues in animals: evidence for myocyte-related cells in sponges (Porifera)

Muscle-based movement is a hallmark of animal biology, but the evolutionary origins of myocytes – the cells that comprise muscle tissues – are unknown. As one of the only animals thought to lack muscles, sponges (Porifera) provide an opportunity to reconstruct the earliest periods of myocyte evolution. Sponges are capable of coordinated whole-body contractions that purge debris from internal water canals, but their contractile tissues remain uncharacterized. We have identified tissues in the Colorado freshwater sponge, Ephydatia muelleri, that fall well-within the range of variation exhibited by muscles in other animals with respect to their ultrastructural organization, regulation, and developmental specification. These data clarify the cellular foundations of contraction in sponges, and indicate that myocytes originated in the animal stem-lineage.

Everyone is welcome to join the seminar, please email Jacki Craig to receive the Zoom Meeting Link. Requests can be submitted any time before the Seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.