UROP Project

Whole transcriptome analysis of dioxin-like chemical exposure in roach (Rutilus rultilus)



Daniel Holder

Program Director UROP


+49 241 80-90695


Key Info

Basic Information

Project Offer-Number:
UROP Abroad
Organisation unit:
Toxicology Centre and School of the Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Cana
Language Skills:
Computer Skills:
Excel, Word, Systat or SPSS


Biomarkers of exposure to DLCs can provide information regarding the quality and quantity of physiological damage to an organism and can be assessed on various levels of organization, ranging from subcellular (molecular and biochemical; e.g. mRNA expression or enzyme activities) to tissue (e.g. histopathological investigations) or whole organism level (e.g. growth, mortality, reproduction). Recent development of novel molecular tools such as sequence-by-synthesis technology represents a powerful approach to study the "molecular machinery" that regulates basic biological processes, and that enables linking biochemical and physiological responses with parameters of demographic relevance (survival, growth, reproduction).


The aim of this project is to apply the above-described sequence-by-synthesis technology to further characterize the toxicity pathways and potential subsequent effects at the tissue and organismal level of DLCs in roach as part of the dioRAMA project. Specifically, the applicant will be introduced to Illumina sequence-by-synthesis and data mining methods, and will then conduct whole transcriptome sequencing of biological samples of roach exposed during the dioRAMA experiments. Based on the transcriptome results he/she will identify specific toxicity pathways for DLC exposure of roach, and use this information to design a qPCR array for dioxins and DLCs in this species. The applicant will work under supervision of Dr. Steve Wiseman and one principal investigator (Prof. Dr. Markus Hecker). It is expected that the studies conducted by the applicant will result in the publication of a minimum of one joint scientific manuscript.


The applicant should be student in environmental sciences/biology with good knowledge of and experience in molecular and biochemical methods. We prefer applicants having interests in combining the UROP stay at the University of Saskatchewan with a BSc/MSc or Diploma thesis at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany). Applicants with experience in biomarker analyses are preferred.