AIMRC Seminar on Role of Mitochondrial Networks during Embryonic Development Oct. 11

AIMRC Seminar on Role of Mitochondrial Networks during Embryonic Development Oct. 11
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The Arkansas Integrative Metabolic Research Center will host a seminar at 11:50 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, via Zoom. Richa Rikhy, associate professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune, will discuss her work on the role of mitochondrial dynamics during early Drosophila embryogenesis and the mechanisms through which mitochondrial networks affect key patterning events in a presentation titled "Mitochondria in Morphogenesis During Embryogenesis."

Mitochondria are maternally inherited, semi-autonomous organelles in metazoan embryos. In Drosophila embryos they are relatively small and abundant. We have studied their distribution and dynamics in early morphogenesis events in the syncytial division cycle, cellularization, and gastrulation. We find that their cortical distribution is maintained by microtubule transport across the embryo. Mitochondrial electron transport chain activity is essential for plasma membrane furrow formation in the early syncytial division cycles. Loss of mitochondrial fission leads to the formation of fused mitochondria which accumulate at the basal side of the cells in the embryo. Loss of mitochondrial fission inhibits processes such as contractile ring formation and gastrulation due to a decrease in reactive oxygen species. Our ongoing work focuses on the role of mitochondria in morphogenesis in early Drosophila embryogenesis and mechanisms by which they interact with key patterning events.

Richa Rikhy received her Ph.D. from the Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India under Prof. KS Krishnan. During her Ph.D., she worked on the role of membrane trafficking in regulating synaptic vesicle recycling in motor neurons in Drosophila. She pursued a postdoc from the National Institutes of Health USA with Jennifer Lippincott Schwartz. During her post-doc, she developed an interest in understanding cellular organization during metazoan embryogenesis. She has a lab in the Indian Institute of Science, Education, and Research, Pune, and works on the cell biology of early embryogenesis with a focus on morphogenesis of cells and organelles during embryogenesis and stem cell differentiation. 

This event is supported by the NIGMS of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20GM139768. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.



Sarah Grace Brown, communications coordinator
Division of Research and Innovation


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