Nematology Research Unit and its Siberian connection

(11-09-2019) Professor Wim Bert and his team of the Nematology Research Unit (NRU) at the Department of Biology have a long-standing cooperation with Dr. Yushin, zoologist from the National Scientific Center of Marine Biology (NSCMB) in Vladivostok.

Dr. YushinIt is part of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Science. In 2017 a memorandum of Understanding was signed between Gent University and NSCMB. That same year, the NRU co-founded the “UGent Expertise Centre for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), life sciences”. This expertise center facilitated the purchase of a dedicated camera for a transmission electron microscope, which resulted in both a more time-efficient work and images of higher quality.

Dr. Yushin: “This year I visited Gent in June for 6 weeks. With colleagues from the University, especially with Mrs. Myriam Claeys who is responsible for the transmission electron Microscopy,  we studied sperm structure and development in the marine nematode Trefusia. This intriguing and successful investigation will be published soon. Also the freshwater nematode Anaplectus (shipped alive in the beginning of June by Dr. O. Holovachov; Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden), was treated for the ultrastructural study of the spermatogenesis. My visit also included extensive work with colleagues on publications of our investigations previously made. The monumental paper “Structure, development and evolutive patterns of spermatozoa in rhabditid nematodes (Nematoda: Rhabditida)” is a comprehensive work with analysis of the spermatogenesis of the nematode order Rhabditida, which includes numerous nematodes well known for parasitologists, plant-pathologist and developmental biologists. This work took 3 years of collaboration and was part of the PhD theses of Dr. Dieter Slos of which I was co-promotor.

nother paper: “Self-Pressurised Rapid Freezing, a time-efficient and affordable cryofixation method for ultrastructural observations on unhatched cyst nematodes” was published during my stay. I will present the results of this study during the 13th International Nematological Symposium,  organized by the Russian Society of Nematologists (august 2019, Petrozavodsk, Russia). In the near future we will expand our collaboration, including mutual projects, exchange of knowledge, common use of equipment and training of students”.

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