Establishment of mollusc research model

Model organisms are irreplaceable tools for fundamental biological research in the post-genome era, which has long been lacking for the molluscan group (the largest marine phylum). Our group has been focusing on the dwarf surf clam (Mulinia lateralis), a promising bivalve model with many appealing features such as small body size (~2 cM), rapid development (~3 weeks into juvenile), easy to be raised or breed (sexually mature within 2~3 months). We have established the standardized aquatic facilities for artificial breeding and culture of this animal completely in the laboratory, with attainable capacity of five generations per year. We are also interested in giant African land snail Achatina fulica (3-4 generations per year), representing another promising model for cell culture and studying terrestrial adaptation of molluscs. We are currently in process of generating extensive omics resources for these species and establishing transgenic and CRISPR-based gene editing approaches. The ultimate goal of such work is to establish mollusc model platform and open up opportunities for functional study of molluscan biology and evolution.

We bring the right people together.

Sincerely welcome all students with the spirit of exploration to join the research group!

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