Dr. Brian C. Ring

Brian RingContact Information

E-Mail: Brian Ring

Education & Experience

B.S.     Biological Sciences, Florida State University

Ph.D. Molecular Genetics, Florida State University

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Functional Genomics, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Certified Forensic Biologist Technician, DNA & Serology, Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Adjunct Professor, Florida A&M University

Post-Doctoral Associate, Maize Cytogenetics, Florida State University

Teaching

BIOL 1100: Biology Freshmen Seminar

BIOL 1107: Principles of Biology I

BIOL 1951H: Honor’s Biology: Cellular Processes

BIOL 4350: Developmental Biology

BIOL 4580:  Molecular Genetics

BIOL 4900: Biology Senior Seminar

BIOL 6350: Developmental Biology- Graduate Level

BIOL 6580:  Molecular Genetics- Graduate Level

Research Interests 

Dr. Ring ResearchResearch in my lab involves molecular genetic techniques toward understanding how the vertebrate gonad develops. Primary sex determination in most vertebrates results in the development of a single gonad, ovary or testis, from a bipotential primordium, whose developmental fate is controlled by genetic or environmental mechanisms or a combination of both.  For example, sex type is determined by sex chromosomes (genetics) in mammals (i.e. XY male in humans) or temperature in alligators (environmental).  Regardless of mechanism, the predominant result is the formation of dimorphic individuals, either male or female, which have a testis or ovary, respectively.  The mangrove killifish, Kryptolebias marmoratus (Kmar) differs from the predominant mode of dimorphic sex determination.  Kmar are synchronous self-fertilizing hermaphrodites whose unique form of reproduction involves a mixed gonad structure referred to as an ovotestis (testis and ovaries form in the same place).  The ovotestis is capable of normal gametogenesis and fertilization within a common lumen.  Most Kmar are configured this way and can easily be self-crossed through several generations to genetic isogeny where they form “clonal lineages” (Fig. 1A & C).  Kmar males are rare, but easily distinguishable from hermaphrodites (Fig. 1B).  Too date, a pure Kmar female has not been observed in nature or in the laboratory.  Kmar fish are analogous to the invertebrate nematode, C. elegans, a hermaphrodite and a well established model organism in developmental genetics.  However, sex determination in C. elegans is genetic, but is unknown in Kmar- although temperature does play a role.  Both of these model organisms are advantageous for genetic work because the researcher does not have to inbreed males to females to create homozygosity (Fig. 1D).

Currently, my lab is performing a genetic screen in Kmar for mutations involved in ovotestis development.  The hypothesis is that mutants derived from this screen will be sterile by disrupting ovary or testis formation within the mixed ovotestis environment.  By comparison of mutants to wild-type individuals of identical clonal decent, a default mechanism is hypothesized that is applicable to understanding the predominant bipotential mode of gonad organogenesis in vertebrates. 

Research Sponsored by:

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Lab Members:

PRESENT

J. Lance Perry, MS student

J.M. "Angel" Newsome, MS student

Missy Ard, Undergraduate

Lynda Bernhardt, undergraduate

Ginger Moore, undergraduate

PAST

M. Jason Bland, MS Student

Sofia Sucar, undergraduate

Anjelica Askew, undergraduate

Publications

Chiu H, Ring BC, Sorrentino RP, Kalamarz M, Garza D, Govind S.dUbc9 negatively regulates the Toll-NF-kappaB pathways in larval hematopoiesis and drosomycin activation in Drosophila. Dev Biol. 2005, 288(1):60-72.