Claudius Kratochwil

Claudius Kratochwil
University of Helsinki | HY · Institute of Biotechnology

Ph.D.
Looking for passionate students and researchers to join our team. We work on genomics & evo-devo of coloration in fish.

About

47
Publications
18,527
Reads
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818
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2013 - December 2020
Universität Konstanz
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2008 - June 2013
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research
Position
  • PhD thesis: Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of neuronal migration and circuitry development in the murine hindbrain
September 2007 - July 2008
University of Freiburg
Position
  • Master thesis: Characterization of the Catecholaminergic Circuitry in Zebrafish
Education
October 2004 - July 2008
University of Freiburg
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
We investigated the role of histone methyltransferase Ezh2 in tangential migration of mouse precerebellar pontine nuclei, the main relay between neocortex and cerebellum. By counteracting the sonic hedgehog pathway, Ezh2 represses Netrin1 in dorsal hindbrain, which allows normal pontine neuron migration. In Ezh2 mutants, ectopic Netrin1 derepressio...
Article
The analysis of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of the genotype-phenotypic connection has, so far, only been possible in a handful of genetic model systems. Recent technological advances, including next-generation sequencing methods such as RNA-seq, ChIP-seq and RAD-seq, and genome-editing approaches including CRISPR-Cas, now permit to address th...
Article
The color patterns of African cichlid fishes provide notable examples of phenotypic convergence. Across the more than 1200 East African rift lake species, melanic horizontal stripes have evolved numerous times. We discovered that regulatory changes of the gene agouti-related peptide 2 (agrp2) act as molecular switches controlling this evolutionaril...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of sex chromosomes and their differentiation from autosomes is a major event during genome evolution that happened many times in several lineages. The repeated evolution and lability of sex‐determination mechanisms in fishes makes this a well‐suited system to test for general patterns in evolution. According to current theory, differe...
Article
Full-text available
High-throughput DNA sequencing technologies make it possible now to sequence entire genomes relatively easily. Complete genomic information obtained by whole-genome resequencing (WGS) can aid in identifying and delineating species even if they are extremely young, cryptic, or morphologically difficult to discern and closely related. Yet, for taxono...
Preprint
Full-text available
High-throughput DNA sequencing technologies make it possible now to sequence entire genomes relatively easily. Complete genomic information obtained by whole genome resequencing (WGS) can aid in identifying and delineating species even if they are extremely young, cryptic or morphologically difficult to discern and closely related. Yet for taxonomi...
Article
Full-text available
Color patterns are often linked to the behavioral and morphological characteristics of an animal, contributing to the effectiveness of such patterns as antipredatory strategies. Species-rich adaptive radiations, such as the freshwater fish family Cichlidae, provide an exciting opportunity to study trait correlations at a macroevolutionary scale. Ci...
Article
Full-text available
Polymorphisms have fascinated biologists for a long time, but their genetic underpinnings often remain elusive. Here, we aim to uncover the genetic basis of the gold/dark polymorphism that is eponymous of Midas cichlid fish (Amphilophus spp.) adaptive radiations in Nicaraguan crater lakes. While most Midas cichlids are of the melanic “dark morph”,...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the origins of phenotypic diversity among closely related species remains an important largely unsolved question in evolutionary biology. With over 800 species, Lake Malawi haplochromine cichlid fishes are a prominent example of extremely fast evolution of diversity including variation in coloration. Previously, a single major effect...
Article
Full-text available
While color patterns are highly diverse across the animal kingdom, certain patterns such as countershading and stripe patterns have evolved repeatedly. Across vertebrates, agouti‐signaling genes have been associated with the evolution of both patterns. Here we study the functional conservation and divergence by investigating the expression patterns...
Article
Full-text available
The transition from ‘well-marked varieties’ of a single species into ‘well-defined species’—especially in the absence of geographic barriers to gene flow (sympatric speciation)—has puzzled evolutionary biologists ever since Darwin1,2. Gene flow counteracts the buildup of genome-wide differentiation, which is a hallmark of speciation and increases t...
Article
Full-text available
The adaptive radiations of East African cichlid fish in the Great Lakes Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika are well known for their diversity and repeatedly evolved phenotypes. Convergent evolution of melanic horizontal stripes has been linked to a single locus harboring the gene agouti-related peptide 2 (agrp2). However, where and when the causal va...
Article
Full-text available
Many species change their coloration during ontogeny or even as adults. Color change hereby often serves as sexual or status signal. The cellular and subcellular changes that drive color change and how they are orchestrated have been barely understood, but a deeper knowledge of the underlying processes is important to our understanding of how such...
Article
Full-text available
The mammalian precerebellar pontine nucleus (PN) has a main role in relaying cortical information to the cerebellum. The molecular determinants establishing ordered connectivity patterns between cortical afferents and precerebellar neurons are largely unknown. We show that expression of Hox5 transcription factors is induced in specific subsets of p...
Article
Full-text available
The East African adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes are renowned for their diversity in coloration. Yet, the developmental basis of pigment pattern formation remains largely unknown. One of the most common melanic patterns in cichlid fishes are vertical bar patterns. Here we describe the ontogeny of this conspicuous pattern in the Lake Kyoga spe...
Chapter
Cre-mediated recombination has become a powerful tool to confine gene deletions (conditional knockouts) or overexpression of genes (conditional knockin/overexpression). By spatiotemporal restriction of genetic manipulations, major problems of classical knockouts such as embryonic lethality or pleiotropy can be circumvented. Furthermore, Cre-mediate...
Preprint
Full-text available
The mechanisms underlying eco-evolutionary dynamics (the feedback between ecological and evolutionary processes) are often unknown. Here, we propose that classical theory from behavioral ecology can provide a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying eco-evolutionary dynamics, and thus improve predictions about the outcomes of these dynami...
Article
Full-text available
Color patterns in African cichlid fishes vary spectacularly. While phylogenetic analysis showed already 30 years ago that many color patterns evolved repeatedly in these adaptive radiations, only recently have we begun to understand the genic basis of color variation. Horizontal stripe patterns evolved and were lost several times independently acro...
Article
The tropical freshwater fish family Cichlidae is famous for its record‐breaking rates of speciation and diversity in colors and color patterns. Here, we sequenced the genome of the Lake Malawi cichlid Melanochromis auratus to study the genetic basis of an amelanistic morph of this species that lacks the typical melanic stripes and markings. Genome...
Article
Color patterns are a fascinating organismal feature and play key roles in several fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes. They give important insights into the process of phenotypic divergence. Color patterns also provide striking examples of convergence, the independent evolution of phenotypic similarities. In the era of genome sequenci...
Article
Full-text available
Sequence features that affect DNA fragility might facilitate fast, repeated evolution by elevating mutation rates at genomic hotspots.
Article
Full-text available
The electric yellow cichlid Labidochromis caeruleus is a mouth‐brooding haplochromine cichlid from Lake Malawi and one of the most popular cichlids in the ornamental fish industry. To investigate the early development of L. caeruleus from hatching until the juvenile stage, we studied its morphological development and allometric growth patterns. In...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions are ubiquitous across biological systems. These interactions can be abstracted as patterns of connections among distinct units - such as genes, proteins, individual organisms, or species - which form a hierarchy of biological organisation. Connections in this hierarchy are arranged in a nested structure: gene and protein networks shape...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus spp.) is widely known among evolutionary biologists as a model system for sympatric speciation and adaptive phenotypic divergence within extremely short periods of time (a few hundred generations). The repeated parallel evolution of adaptive phenotypes in this radiation, combined with their...
Article
Full-text available
The pontine nuclei (PN) are the largest of the precerebellar nuclei, neuronal assemblies in the hindbrain providing principal input to the cerebellum. The PN are predominantly innervated by the cerebral cortex and project as mossy fibers to the cerebellar hemispheres. Here, we comprehensively review the development of the PN from specification to m...
Article
Full-text available
In mammals, tactile information is mapped topographically onto the contralateral side of the brain in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). In this study, we describe Robo3 mouse mutants in which a sizeable fraction of the trigemino-thalamic inputs project ipsilaterally rather than contralaterally. The resulting mixture of crossed and uncrossed se...
Article
Full-text available
Mouse whiskers are somatotopically mapped in brainstem trigeminal nuclei as neuronal modules known as barrelettes. Whisker-related afferents form barrelettes in ventral principal sensory (vPrV) nucleus, whereas mandibular input targets dorsal PrV (dPrV). How barrelette neuron identity and cir- cuitry is established is poorly understood. We found th...
Article
Full-text available
Gene regulatory networks (GRN) are central to developmental processes. They are composed of transcription factors and signaling molecules orchestrating gene expression modules that tightly regulate the development of organisms. The neural crest (NC) is a multipotent cell population that is considered a key innovation of vertebrates. Its derivatives...
Article
Recently evolved enhancers dominate mammalian gene regulatory landscapes. Mostly exapted from ancestral DNA sequences, many are linked to genes under positive selection. Just as RNA-seq some years ago, unbiased enhancer mapping is on the verge of changing evolutionary research. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
Background Central American crater lake cichlid fish of the Midas species complex (Amphilophus spp.) are a model system for sympatric speciation and fast ecological diversification and specialization. Midas cichlids have been intensively analyzed from an ecological and morphological perspective. Genomic resources such as transcriptomic and genomic...
Article
Evolutionary alterations to cis-regulatory sequences are likely to cause adaptive phenotypic complexity, through orchestrating changes in cellular proliferation, identity and communication. For non-model organisms with adaptive key-innovations, patterns of regulatory evolution have been predominantly limited to targeted sequence-based analyses. Chr...
Chapter
Full-text available
Cre-mediated recombination has become a powerful tool to confine gene deletions (conditional knockouts) or overexpression of genes (conditional knockin/overexpression). By spatiotemporal restriction of genetic manipulations, major problems of classical knockouts such as embryonic lethality can be circumvented. Furthermore Cre-mediated recombination...
Article
Full-text available
External ear abnormalities are frequent in newborns ranging from microtia to partial auricle duplication. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms orchestrating external ear morphogenesis. In humans, HOXA2 partial loss of function induces a bilateral microtia associated with an abnormal shape of the auricle. In mice, Hoxa2 inactivation at ear...
Article
Full-text available
The catecholamines dopamine and noradrenaline provide some of the major neuromodulatory systems with far-ranging projections in the brain and spinal cord of vertebrates. However, development of these complex systems is only partially understood. Zebrafish provide an excellent model for genetic analysis of neuronal specification and axonal projectio...
Article
The lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) causes fragile X syndrome, a common form of inherited mental retardation. Our previous studies revealed alterations in the differentiation of FMRP-deficient neural progenitors. Here, we show abnormalities in neurogenesis in the mouse and human embryonic FMRP-deficient brain as well as after in...

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