Dr. rer. nat.
Phone: +49 641 972-19160
|Since 12/2012||Postdoc, Institute for Phytopathology and Applied Entomology, JLU Giessen|
|04/2010–11/2012||Postdoc, Fraunhofer IME, Bioresources Project Group|
|03/2012||PhD in natural sciences (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany|
|06/2010–03/2012||Research assistant, Fraunhofer IME, Bioresources Project Group|
|05/2007–05/2010||Research assistant, Institute for Phytopathology and Applied Entomology, JLU Giessen|
|10/1999–02/2007||Studies in biology, Ruhr-University Bochum (Prof. Dr. Schaub)|
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs approximately 22 nucleotides in length that have been found in diverse species including many animals and plants. Their major function is the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by base-pairing with the 3ʹ untranslated region of target messenger RNAs. A single miRNA can regulate hundreds of different target genes and more than 30 per cent of the genes in animals are thought to be regulated in this manner. Therefore, miRNAs play an important role in many biological processes. Thousands of miRNAs have been identified since the discovery of the first examples 20 years ago, but most are computational predictions without experimental confirmation. Our project therefore focuses on the expression and functional characterization of miRNAs from the model beetle Tribolium castaneum., We used microarray analysis to study miRNA expression under different forms of stress, including starvation, infection and heat shock. This approach has, for the first time, identified T. castaneum miRNAs with differential and sex-specific expression profiles in response to environmental stress. In the future, we will focus on the functional characterization of single miRNAs and the identification of physiological target genes.