PhD defence and trial lecture: Ioannis Konstantinidis (FBA)

Doctoral candidate Ioannis Konstantinidis will hold a trial lecture and defend his thesis for the degree Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture (Bodø), Nord University.

Start date:

14 December 2020 10:15

End date:

14 December 2020 15:00

Location:

Teams & A5 Petter Thomassen
​​​​​​​Follow the defence via Teams here
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Doctoral candidate​ Ioannis Konstantinidis​

Trial lecture topic
The inheritance of epigenetic mechanisms and their evolutionary consequences, including specific examples​

Thesis title
DNA hydroxymethylation and improved growth of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) during domestication

Evaluation Committee
- Reader Dr. Christophe Eizaguirre, Queen Mary University of London
- Researcher Kaja Skærven​, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen
- Associate Professor Ioannis Vatsos, FBA, Nord University​

Supervisory Committee
- Professor Jorge Fernandes, FBA, Nord University
- Professor Pål Sætrom, NTNU​

About the thesis
DNA hydroxymethylation has been characterized as the sixth DNA base in genomic DNA. Its ability to regulate gene transcription and alter histone accessibility is the driver behind recent developments across several fields of biology. Using one of the most cultivated fish species in the world as our model organism, the Nile tilapia, this thesis represents the first comprehensive characterization of the DNA hydroxymethylome in fish undergoing domestication. 

Using genome-wide approaches, we identified major changes in DNA hydroxymethylation and gene expression in response to domestication. Genes involved in growth, metabolism, immunity and neuronal-related functions were found to be differentially hydroxymethylated between wild individuals and their progenitors reared in captivity. 

Furthermore, phenotypic divergence after a single generation in captivity was associated with changes in DNA hydroxymethylation rather than genetic mutations. This supports our notion that epigenetic modifications play a critical role in animal domestication and selective breeding. 

Moreover, this thesis provides an extensive list of candidate epigenetic biomarkers related to growth. Their validation has the potential to revolutionize current breeding strategies in aquaculture for the selection of superior phenotypes and to contribute towards the diversification of the industry.

Trial lecture: 10:15 - 11:20
Thesis defence: 12:15 - 15:00

All participants engaging remotely via Teams are advised to​ turn off their cameras and microphones for the duration of the trial lecture and thesis defence.

Start date:

14 December 2020 10:15

End date:

14 December 2020 15:00

Location:

Teams & A5 Petter Thomassen
The PhD trial lecture and defence are open to the public. The thesis is available upon request. Please contact Jeanett Stegen.​​