Control Freaks: Revealing the Genetics Behind Nervous System Activity

Abstract

The control of behavior by nervous systems is highly adaptable and influenced by many factors, including changes to the membrane composition of the underlying neurons. The production of ion channels that dictate membrane composition and conductive properties of neurons are dynamically controlled by expression of channel-coding genes. To identify the key candidate genes involved in governing the nervous systems of the American lobster, Homarus americanus, we utilized Next Generation RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) on multiple nervous system tissue types. This research establishes the first sequenced transcriptome of this species, as well as the critical pathways involved in the modulation of nervous system activity.