Title of Abstract: Neuromodulation in Libinia emarginata
Mentors’ Organizations or Departments: Department of Chemistry, Bowdoin College; Neuroscience Program, Bowdoin College
Research Abstract: Neuropeptides are small proteins produced and released by neurons across a wide variety of animal nervous systems. Because their release is regulated, neuropeptides have a modulating effect on their target cells, which manifests as changes in the behavior and cognition of individual organisms. These changes occur to “pattern-generators” in the central nervous system, which regulate rhythmic movements like walking. We studied the pattern-generators that control digestion in the crab Libinia emarginata. Using the in-silico method of transcriptome mining on the University of Hawaii at Manoa BLAST software, we identified and analyzed sequences for five neuropeptides in the L. emarginata brain and stomatogastric ganglion (STG) – proctolin, crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP), myosuppressin, tachykinin (CabTRP), and red pigment concentrating hormone (RPCH). We were able to analyze this data in conjunction with some mass spectrometry data from the L. emarginata brain.