PhD trial lecture and public defence: Christopher Presslauer

31 March 2017 10:00 - 31 March 2017 15:30

Auditorium Petter Thomassen (A5), Nord University, Bodø

PhD-candidate Christopher Presslauer will hold a trial lecture and defend his thesis for the degree Philosophiae Doctor (PhD), at the Faulty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University, Friday 31. March 2017.

PhD-candidate Christopher Presslauer

Title of thesis:

Comparative and functional analysis of microRNAs during zebrafish gonadal development

Title of trial lecture:
The discovery of teleost miRNA and the present knowledge of miRNA impact on health and economically interesting traits in aquaculture species

Time for trial lecture: 10:15 - 11:15
Time for defence: 12:15 - 15:30
Place: Auditorium Petter Thomassen (A5)

Members of the evaluation committee:
- Research Director Julien Bobe, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Fish Physiology and Genomics Institute, Rennes, France.
- Associate Professor Rune Andreassen, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.
-Associate Professor Monica Fengsrud Brinchmann, FBA, Nord University (chair).

Main supervisor: Professor Igor Babiak, FBA
Co-supervisor: Professor Jorge Fernandes, FBA
Co-supervisor: Researcher Teshome Bizuayehu, FBA

The PhD trial lecture and defence are open for the public. The thesis is available on request by contacting Kristine Vevik, e-mail:,
tel: 75 51 74 37

About the thesis:
microRNAs (miRNA) are small non-coding RNA, which function as important regulators of protein coding genes. They are abundant in plants and animals, and there are many similarities between miRNAs in human and fish. However, relatively little is known about the role of miRNA in reproduction.

In his dissertation, Christopher Presslauer examined miRNAs during development of the gonads in zebrafish, a popular ornamental fish frequently used as a model animal in science. In this dissertation, a special zebrafish line was created allowing in vivo visualization of germ cells, which are the cells which give rise to gametes. In addition, this line was used to characterize the most abundant miRNAs at various stages of gonadal development, from undifferentiated gonads to sexual maturation.
Model fish: Zebrafish

The regulatory functions of selected miRNAs were investigated. Several miRNAs were stocked in unfertilized eggs, and are likely maternal factors which function during embryonic development of the offspring.

Collectively, the results indicated that the miRNA repertoire in fish gonads is dynamic during gonad development, with spatial, temporal, and gender-related specificity. The research provides an important resource on the miRNAs involved in fish gonad development.