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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras
  • Jose E Garcia-Arraras
  • (787) 764-0000
  • Carlos Rios-Velazquez
Award Date:07/19/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 661,175
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 361,175
  • FY 2021=$361,175
Start Date:08/01/2021
End Date:07/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Microbiota Role in Intestinal Regeneration
Federal Award ID Number:2100494
DUNS ID:143960193
Parent DUNS ID:090051616
Program:Animal Developmental Mechanism
Program Officer:
  • Anna Allen
  • (703) 292-8011

Awardee Location

Street:18 Ave. Universidad, Ste.1801
City:San Juan
County:San Juan
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras
Street:Ponce de Leon Ave
City:Rio Piedras
County:San Juan
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

Little is known about why some animals can regenerate certain tissues or organs, while other species cannot. This research explores regeneration in a novel organism, the sea cucumber Holothuria glaberrima. These animals have an incredible ability to regenerate lost structures and this study will focus on the regeneration of the intestine. In recent years, the microbial environment associated with organisms, or microbiota, has been shown to play important roles in the development and proper function of an organism. This project aims to determine the possible role of the microbiota on the process of intestinal regeneration. For this study, the bacteria and other microorganisms that are associated with the regenerating intestine will be characterized to determine if and which species might be modulating intestinal regeneration. Moreover, the project provides "hands-on" research training to undergraduate students as a way of guiding them toward scientific research careers and help increase the diversity of the scientific community. The microbiota within the digestive tract has been shown to modulate energy metabolism and immunity in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. However, little is known of their role in organogenesis and in particular in the regeneration of new organs following loss or injury. This proposal aims to extend our knowledge of the microbiota role in developmental and regenerative processes. The proposal brings together two research scientists with different areas of expertise that will join forces to focus on the characterization of holothurian intestinal microbiota and its function in the regeneration of the holothurian digestive tract. To determine the possible effects of the microbiota, state of the art technology including RNA-Seq and 16rRNA sequencing together with more traditional microbiota analyses will be utilized. The proposed project will: (1) Characterize the intestinal microbiota of two different species of holothurians, that inhabit different environments and use different feeding methods and determine the spatial and temporal changes in the microbiota during intestinal regeneration. (2) Determine the role of the microbiota by modifying the microbiota using antibiotics and antifungal agents. (3) Identify the host genes that are under the control of the microbiota in normal and regenerating animals by performing transcriptomic analyses of normal and regenerating animals treated with specific antibiotic agents. The outcome of the proposal will be a clear description of how the microbiota modulates intestinal regeneration, a characterization of species that play a major role in the process and the target genes involved in the process. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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