Dr. Nico Posnien
Postoctoral Research Fellow/Group Leader, Developmental Biology
2006 Diploma, Georg-August-University Göttingen
07/2006 – 07/2009 Dr. rer. nat., Georg-August-University Göttingen
08/2009 - 12/2009 Postdoctoral fellow, Georg-August-University Göttingen
01/2010 - 07/2011 Postdoctoral fellow, Vetmed Uni Vienna, Institute of Populationgenetics, Austria
08/2011 - 03/2012 Postdoctoral fellow, Oxford Brookes University, School of Life Sciences, UK
since 04/2012 Postdoctoral fellow/Group Leader, Georg-August-University Göttingen
Major Research Interests
Our main research focus is the identification of the evolutionary and developmental forces involved in morphological diversification among Arthropods. We are mainly interested in the evolution of head morphology in insects (Drosophila melanogaster, Tribolium castaneum) and chelicerates (spiders).
By applying an Eco-Evo-Devo approach we aim to unravel the molecular changes underlying natural variation in eye and head capsule morphology in closely related Drosophila species. By taking advantage of next generation sequencing technology (RNAseq) and the power of various well established genetic tools in Drosophila, we want to identify the developmental genes responsible for the observed variation in head morphology. Additionally, we are trying to establish the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum as model for morphological evolution by screening several populations for morphological differences.
In a more classical Evo-Devo approach we aim to identify the genes and developmental pathways involved in spider eye development. For this project we mainly work on the common house spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. A broad comparison of these mechanisms among various groups of animals will reveal conserved and diverged aspects of this process.
Additionally, we are involved in current endeavors to provide transcriptomic and genomic resources for P. tepidariorum.
Selected Recent Publications:
Posnien N, Bucher G (2010) Formation of the insect head involves lateral contribution of the intercalary segment, which depends on Tc-labial function. Dev Biol 338: 107-116.
Posnien N, Schinko J, Kittelmann S, Bucher G (2010) Genetics, development and composition of the insect head - A beetle's view. Arthropod Struct Dev 39: 399-410.
Posnien N, Koniszewski N, Bucher G (2011) Insect Tc-six4 marks a unit with similarity to vertebrate placodes. Dev Biol 350: 208-216
Posnien N*, Koniszewski NDB*, Hein HJ, Bucher G (2011) Candidate Gene Screen in the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium Reveals Six3 as Ancient Regulator of Anterior Median Head and Central Complex Development. PLoS Genet 7(12): e1002416. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002416
Fu J*, Posnien N*, Bolognesi R, Fischer TD, Rayl P, Oberhofer G, Kitzmann P, Brown SJ, and Bucher G (2012) Asymmetrically Expressed Axin Required for Anterior Development in Tribolium. PNAS 109(20): 7782–7786
Posnien N*, Hopfen C*, Hilbrant M, Ramos-Womack M, Murat S, Schönauer A, Herbert SL, et al. (2012) Evolution of Eye Morphology and Rhodopsin Expression in the Drosophila melanogaster Species Subgroup. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37346
* equal contribution