Publication of paper, “Morphological and transcriptional effects of crude oil and dispersant exposure on the marine sponge Cinachyrella alloclada”

We are happy to announce the publication of this paper, first authored by one of our former Dept of Biological Sciences MS students, Yvain Desplat, in the journal Science of the Total Environment. This was a story with a long journey.  After finding no clear correlations of sponge microbial community changes with oil dosing in Cinachyrella sp. (Cuvelier et al  2014), we turned to the transcriptome. However high throughput transcriptome methods were just getting started around the time of the tragic Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and they were expensive. MS student Emily Blake generated RNAseq libraries, and some worked or failed, then we ran out of funding before we could finish all treatments. The tissue and RNA samples were stored at -80C for 5-6 years until a motivated student showed up to take this project on again. (One lesson – sponge RNA can be fairly stable when frozen properly). Congrats to Yvain Desplat to see this project through to a high impact journal!