Residency at Station Biologique de Roscoff / CNRS - UPMC

blog entry by Robertina Šebjanič (artist in residency) - more about Robertina's work you can find here:

Video trailer about the residency by Vincent Pouplard: Sea watch

Residency is taking place at gorgeous Station Biologique de Roscoff / CNRS - UPMC under the curatorship of Ewen Chardronnet, organized by PING - big thx to Julien Bellanger and scientifically lead by Xavier Bailly (from Station Biologique de Roscoff).

Founded in 1872, the Station Biologique de Roscoff (SBR) is a centre for research and higher education in marine biology and ecology. It is jointly run by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC, Paris).

The Roscoff worm (Symsagittifera roscoffensis or Roscoff Ensis)is one of the “focus species” to observe and work on during this residency.

A fantastic drawing from 15 centuryfrom Northen Italy (left photo) - is my association on that amazing organism. More information about the drawing

The drawing on the right side is from 1891 Roscoff worm: Graff, L. Die Organisation der Turbellaria Acoela mit einem Enhange ueber den Bau und Bedeutung der Chlorophyllzellen von Convoluta roscoffensis von Gotlieb Haberlandt.,_1891).png

Observation of Symsagittifera roscoffensis aka Roscoff worms

/ ongoing experiment + filed trips

Collecting Symsagittifera roscoffensis at Roscoff shore.

Collecting Symsagittifera roscoffensis with Xavier and his assistants.

Observation of Symsagittifera roscoffensis.

Observing of confronting a “juvenile” Symsagittifera roscoffensis with a microalgae.

Left is before and right is after.

It is fascinating to look more close also into great regenerative possibilities of Roscoff worm: I did read and talk a lot about the topic also with Xavier Bailly, who is working since years together with his colleagues on this topic and I do plan to continue the research of functional regeneration of brain and understanding the role of neuroglobin in this context.


Neuroglobin & regeneration

Great and inspiring article on the brain regeneration in Symsagittifera roscoffensis.

Functional brain regeneration in the acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis Simon G. Sprecher1,*, F. Javier Bernardo-Garcia1, Lena van Giesen1, Volker Hartenstein2, Heinrich Reichert3, Ricardo Neves2, Xavier Bailly4, Pedro Martinez5,6 and Michael Brauchle1

The ability of some animals to regrow their head and brain after decapitation provides a striking example of the regenerative capacity within the animal kingdom. The acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis can regrow its head, brain and sensory head organs within only a few weeks after decapitation. How rapidly and to what degree it also reacquires its functionality to control behavior however remains unknown. We provide here a neuroanatomical map of the brain neuropils of the adult S. roscoffensis and show that after decapitation a normal neuroanatomical organization of the brain is restored in the majority of animals. By testing different behaviors we further show that functionality of both sensory perception and the underlying brain architecture are restored within weeks after decapitation. Interestingly not all behaviors are restored at the same speed and to the same extent. While we find that phototaxis recovered rapidly, geotaxis is not restored within 7 weeks. Our findings show that regeneration of the head, sensory organs and brain result in the restoration of directed navigation behavior, suggesting a tight coordination in the regeneration of certain sensory organs with that of their underlying neural circuits. Thus, at least in S. roscoffensis, the regenerative capacity of different sensory modalities follows distinct paths. KEYWORDS: Brain regeneration, Xenacoelomorpha,

Neuroglobin - it a interesting and intriguing to talk about- as there is still a lot of unknowns and assumptions about it. That is also one of my - personal interest to enter the “territory of the research” into the unknown.

Article about Neoglobin by Xavier Bailey and his colleagues.

Neuroglobins, Pivotal Proteins Associated with Emerging Neural Systems and Precursors of Metazoan Globin Diversity

Christophe Lechauve, Muriel Jager, Laurent Laguerre, Laurent Kiger, Ga‘lle Corre, Cdric Leroux,Serge Vinogradov, Mirjam Czjzek, Michael C. Marden, and Xavier Bailly

Background: Neuroglobins are expressed in vertebrate neurons.

Results: Neuroglobins are located in neural systems of two basal animals (acoels and jellyfish) and are ubiquitous in m etazoantranscriptomes.

Conclusion: Neuroglobin was recruited in neural cell prototypes and later co-opted in hemoglobin-based blood systems.

Significance: The universality of neuroglobins sheds new light on the origin and evolution of globins.

… be continued …….



Ongoing during the duration of residency

Bio-acustic - recordings of the movement of sea urchins Bioacoustics is a cross-disciplinary science that combines biology and acoustics. Usually it refers to the investigation of sound production, dispersion and reception in animals (including humans).

Sea urchin recordings As we had been observing the sea urchins on micro level i was also interested to look at them on macro level :).

The sound that is produced by there movement of spines and tube feet is amazing and is easy to record. I did also made a lot of recording during there feeding and observed there interactions.

to understand the animal and its behavior is needed long time of observation and it helps to understand there anatomy

This is a cross section of a normal sea urchin. The cross section is not symmetrical to show the five point radial symmetry.

1 - genital plate 2 - gonopore 3 - anus 4 - hard plate with madreporite 5 - axial gland 6 - gonad 7 - intestine 8 - ampullae 9 - test 10 - radial canal 11 - esophagus 12 - Aristotle’s lantern 13 - teeth 14 - mouth 15 - nerve ring 16 - ring canal 17 - test plates 18 - tube feet 19 - spines The genital plates surround the anus on the aboral surface of the sea urchin. Each genital plate contains a single gonopore connected to a corresponding gonad. A number of hard plates also surround the anus. One of the hard plates contains the madreporite. The axial gland pulsates to move fluid around the inside of the body. Sea urchins have five gonads, which are their reproductive organs. Digestion of food occurs in the intestine. The ampullae branch from each side of the radial canals and become the tube feet when they are outside of the test. The test is the shell of the sea urchin and is made of fused plates of calcium carbonate. The radial canals are part of the water vascular system. The esophagus is at the top of the Aristotle’s lantern and is involved in food digestion. Aristotle’s lantern is the chewing mechanism above the mouth. The mouth consists of five calcium carbonate teeth. The nerve ring encircles the mouth and is located inside Aristotle’s lantern. The ring canal is also located inside Aristotle’s lantern. The test plates are the fused plates of calcium carbonate the make up the test. The tube feet are part of the water vascular system and enable the sea urchin to move. The spines are along the outside of the sea urchin to protect it from predators.

Sub-Aquatic sound recording

Collecting the recordings of the sound scape of the Roscoff shores

Experiments / development

experiments / development biology / model organism: sea urchin

We started the residency with a focus on development biology. At our lab we have a “nursery” for sea urchin's development.

As it is all begins with fertilization of sea urchin eggs with sperms and closer observation of the process of cell division and formation of new life that we are following till the end of the residency - to get better understanding of the development process.

experiments / developmental biology / model organism: ascidians

we did make a whole process of fertilization. Ascidians are hermaphroditic animals,and they are releasing sperm and eggs nearly simultaneously. But, many ascidians, including Ciona intestinalis (the species we are working with), show self-sterility or preference for cross-fertilization rather than self-fertilization.

So we did extract sperm and eggs and cross - fertilize them between different specimens, and then observe the miracle of the development :).

Nice article about this process:

We have a running sea water in the lab!!

And that is amazing as is possible to have animals near to observe them and work with them :). In the aquariums we have sea urchins (small in development of the larva stage, a solar powered slug aka Elysia viridis, cat sharks (eggs and juveniles), one random aquarium with the fertilized egg&s of squid and cutter fish and algae and a lot of small snails and sea urchins.

Observation of Elysia viridis / ongoing experiment

Elysia viridis, the sap-sucking slug, is a small-to-medium-sized species of green sea slug, a marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusc in the family Plakobranchidae. This sea slug resembles a nudibranch, but it is not closely related to that clade of gastropods. It is instead a sacoglossan. This species lives in a subcellular endosymbiotic relationship with chloroplasts derived from the alga Codium fragile. These chloroplasts provide the Elysia host with the products of photosynthesis.Elysia viridis feeds on Codium, and absorbs its chloroplasts. The term for such an activity is kleptoplasty. The slug retains the chloroplasts within in its cells in a functioning state; they apparently are physiologically important to the host, though it is not yet clear to what extent photosynthetically derived sugars are significant in the slug's diet.

Observation of cat sharks

AQUARISTIC IN MAIN AQUARIUM (ongoing during the duration of the residency)

We got our spot also in the gorgeous aquarium at the Station Biologique de Roscoff, that was funded in 19 century.In this great scenery we will have each of resident our own play ground.

For now we started with the harvesting of marine organisms at the shores of the Roscoff and bringing them for closer observation at the aquarium.

Anemone adjusting to the aquarium.

Cuttlefish - super cute and super friendly

fertilized eggs of cuttlefish

Cuttlefish in aquarium

Squid - “the baby cthulhu”

Homer - the lobster

Aplysia - sea slug

Aplysia is a genus of medium-sized to extremely large sea slugs, specifically sea hares, which are one clade of large sea slugs, marine gastropod mollusks. The general description of sea hares can be found in the article on the superfamily Aplysioidea. These benthic herbivorous creatures can become rather large compared with most other mollusks. They graze in tidal and subtidal zones of tropical waters, mostly in the Indo-Pacific Ocean (23 species); but they can also be found in the Atlantic Ocean (12 species), with a few species occurring in the Mediterranean. Interesting: In neurons that mediate several forms of long-term memory in Aplysia, the DNA repair enzyme poly ADP ribose polymerase 1 (PARP-1) is activated. In virtually all eukaryotic cells tested, the addition of polyADP-ribosyl groups to proteins (polyADP-ribosylation) occurs as a response to DNA damage. Thus the finding of activation of PARP-1 during learning and its requirement for long-term memory was surprising.[2] Cohen-Aromon et al.[2] suggested that fast and transient decondensation of chromatin structure by polyADP-ribosylation enables the transcription needed to form long-term memory without strand-breaks in DNA. Subsequent to these findings in Aplysia, further research was done with mice and it was found that polyADP-ribosylation is also required for long-term memory formation in mammals. from:

and sea bed walks…..