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Generation of a knockout mouse strain for an olfactory receptor gene involved in the generation of instinctive behaviors

Grant number: 15/05024-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal Investigator:Fabio Papes
Grantee:Antônio Pedro de Castello Branco da Rocha Camargo
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The detection of chemical cues by animals is essential for their interaction with the environment and with other organisms. The olfactory system is an extremely important sensory system, as it translates the information within the molecules present in the environment into neural information that travels along specific neural pathways, leading to the sensation of an odor or to instinctive behaviors, such as avoidance of a predator, feeding and mate choice. In order to carry out these functions, the olfactory system is composed of a number of subsystems, among which the main olfactory system and the vomeronasal organ stand out, being responsible for the detection of odors and instinctive behavior-inducing chemosignals. Our team has recently discovered a new population of vomeronasal sensory neurons, defined by the expression of a specific receptor with an exquisite temporal expression pattern, distinct from all other known olfactory receptors. Furthermore, we have obtained evidence that this neuronal population is involved in an instinctive behavior in adult mice exposed directed toward the pups. This undergraduate research proposal aims to generate a knockout mouse strain, through the CRISPR-Cas9 system, for the receptor gene in question. These animals will be used in future research to evaluate the functional role of these neurons in vivo. (AU)

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