Christin Wittfoth, M.Sc.

Zoologisches Institut und Museum
Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie

Soldmannstr. 23
Haus 6.1
17489 Greifswald

Tel.: +49 (0)3834 420 4065
Fax: +49 (0)3834 420 4067
christin.wittfothuni-greifswaldde

Life-long neurogenesis in adult crustaceans

Neurogenesis is the process that generates new neurons which occur during embryonic and larval development. Since 20 years, it is known that neurogenesis additionally takes place during adulthood in some decapod crustaceans. Since that time, representatives of mainly reptant decapods („ground-dwelling decapods“) were studied with focus on the mechanisms, how neurogenesis is realized during adulthood. Nevertheless, questions about the evolutionary aspects are remained unclear. For my research, I investigate different taxa of malacostracans by using a thymidine analog as marker of DNA synthesis to monitor cell proliferation and immunohistochemical stainings combined with confocal laser-scanning microscopy, as well as pulse-chase experiments. Therefore, I am able to study the distribution and morphological variation within the malacostracans at once. On the other hand, this might allow us to determine the function of neurogenesis in adult crustaceans by comparing the taxa that feature and lack life-long neurogenesis, respectively.

Neuroanatomy of Parhyale hawaiensis

in cooperation with Dr. Carsten Wolff, Humboldt University Berlin

Within crustaceans, the amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis is a popular lab organism for developmental studies. As previous investigations have shown, it is worth to focus on the neuroanatomy, too. There is evidence for sexual dimorphisms within the olfactory processing areas which might be comparable to some hexapods, especially social insects (unpublished data). Hence, our aim is to study the neuroanatomy of Parhyale hawaiensis with emphasis on the olfactory system. Therefore, we use immunohistochemical stainings combined with confocal laser-scanning microscopy, semi-thin sectioning, X-ray micro-computed tomography, and 3D reconstructions (Amira) to examine the brain of Parhyale hawaiensis in a multi-methodological approach.


Publications

  • Wittfoth C, Harzsch S (2018) Adult neurogenesis in the central olfactory pathway of dendrobranchiate and caridean shrimps: new insights into the evolution of the deutocerebral proliferative system in reptant decapods; Developmental Neurobiology 78(8): 757-774.
  • Meth R, Wittfoth C, Harzsch S (2017) Brain architecture of the Pacific White Shrimp Penaeus vannamei  Boone, 1931 (Malacostraca, Dendrobranchiata): correspondence of brain structure and sensory input?; Cell and Tissue Research, 369 (2), p. 255-271, DOI 10.1007/s00441-017-2607-y.

Contributions to conferences

Talks

  • Wittfoth C, Harzsch S (2017) Das beste Gedächtnis hat bekanntlich die Nase - Lebenslang persistierende Neurogenese im zentralen olfaktorischen Pfad malakostraker Crustaceen; 18. Crustaceologen-Tagung, Berlin, Germany
  • Wittfoth C, Harzsch S (2016) There is much more than lobsters and crabs - Adult neurogenesis in the central olfactory pathway of shrimps and prawns; 109th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG), Kiel, Germany
  • Wittfoth C, Harzsch S (2015) Never change a running system? Lebenslange Neurogenese im zentralen olfaktorischen Pfad adulter Crustaceen; 8. Graduiertentreffen der DZG-Fachgruppe Morphologie, Jena, Germany

  • Wittfoth C, Harzsch S (2015) New neurons for old brains: Life-long neurogenesis of adult crustaceans; Institutssymposium des Zoologischen Instituts und Museums der Universität Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany

Posters

  • Wittfoth C, Harzsch S (2017) A comparative analysis of adult neurogenesis in malacostracan crustaceans; 110th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG), Bielefeld, Germany
  • Wittfoth C, Sombke A, Wolff C (2017) The amphipod nervous system – insights from the brain of Parhyale hawaiensis; invitation-only workshop "Crustacean models in cross-disciplinary biological research", Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia/USA
  • Meth R, Wittfoth C, Harzsch S (2016) Investigating the architecture of the brain in the Pacific White Shrimp Penaeus vannamei Boone, 1931: evidence for corresponding brain structure and sensory input; 109th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG), Kiel, Germany (Poster award of section "Morphology")
  • Wittfoth C, Sombke A, Lipke E and Wolff C (2015) Investigating the neuroanatomy of Parhyale hawaiensis in a combined approach; 108th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG), Graz, Germany

  • Wittfoth C, Sombke A, Wiethase J, Lipke E and Wolff C (2015) The brain anatomy of Parhyale hawaiensis (Dana, 1874); 17. Crustaceologen-Tagung, Bremerhaven, Germany

Research trips

2017Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Infrastructure, Kristineberg, Sweden
2016Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Germany