Gehnrich Receives Grant toward Blue Crab Research†
SALISBURY, MD---Dr. Stephen Gehnrich, associate professor of biological sciences in the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology at Salisbury State University, will coordinate a Maryland Sea Grant of $7,000 to study “Carbonic Anhydrase in the Hypodermis of the Blue Crab and its role in the Calcification of the Cuticle.
Gehnrich hopes to construct a blue crab genomic DNA library, isolate the full-length carbonic anhydrase genes and identify the “upstream” regulatory elements which control their expression. His request will attempt to identify and characterize the carbonic anhydrase gene from blue crabs with a goal to understanding how the expression of this gene affects the mineralization of the post-molt-cuticle. Ultimately, it is hoped that a method will be found to turn the gene “off” following the molt and thereby prevent the hardening of the shell.
The specific objectives of the project are to determine the nucleic acid sequence of carbonic anhydrase from blue crab epithelium and compare it to the vertebrate enzymes; see if the primary structure tells us anything about the cellular location of the blue crab carbonic anhydrase and its possible role in shell growth; and use the cloned blue crab carbonic anhydrase fragments to construct probes to determine the levels of carbonic anhydrase mRNA during various phases of the molt cycle.
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