Title of Abstract: Identifying and Analyzing Neuropeptides and Receptors that are Present in the Cardiac Neuromuscular System of Homarus Americanus
Name of Mentor: Patsy Dickinson
Mentor’s Organization or Department: Neuroscience Program, Bowdoin College
Research Abstract: The lobster heart contracts when bursts of neural impulses are generated in the cardiac ganglion. These contractions are relatively fixed and can only be altered when interacting with neuromodulators like neuropeptides. Predicting the neuropeptides and the corresponding receptors that are present in the cardiac ganglion can provide more information into their role in modulation. Using research from collaborators at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, we were able to access the lobster transcriptomes necessary for the genetic information that codes for these neuropeptides and receptors. Using well vetted programs, we looked at five neuropeptide families, nine receptor families, and stretch sensitive receptors. Once these neuropeptides and receptors were identified, we were able to make predictions about their structure and function.