The jellyfish Clytia hemisphaerica is a powerful model for studying oogenesis, notably because of the simple organisation, transparency, and autonomous function of the gonads. My postdoctoral work specifically focuses on the early meiotic mechanisms in Clytia (paper here). Read more... ( Clytia image by Freya Goetz)
An important challenge in comparative biology is comparing functional genomic data across species. Siphonophores are colonial, consisting of an assemby of complex specialized bodies (termed zooids) that are genetically identical, asexually budded, and are physiologically integrated. Using gene expression data collected from 5 zooids and 1 tissue, I investigated gene expression patterns in homologous zooids/tissues across 7 siphonophore species (paper here). Read more...
Siphonophores are a hydrozoan clade that are found from the ocean surface to the deep sea. Siphonophores are highly complex, functionally specialized, colonial “superorganisms”. In order to investigate the evolution of any trait in siphonophores, including functional specialization, it is essential to have a good, well resolved phylogeny. My work on the phylogenetic relationships within Siphonophora is available here. My work on the development and morphology of the Portuguese man of war is available here.
This project examined the effect of hydrostatic pressure on three different early life stages of the northern stone crab, Lithodes maja; using four genes (two traditional markers of the cellular stress response, one pressure specific gene, and one marker of aerobic capacity) and the respiration rate as markers. We suggest that the acute high pressure tolerance decreases as ontogeny advances. This was my master's thesis work in the Pressure Lab at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton UK. This work is published here.
Mańko MK, Munro C, Leclère L. (2023) Establishing bilateral symmetry in hydrozoan planula larvae, a review of siphonophore early development. Integrative and Comparative Biology. icad081, doi: 10.1093/icb/icad081 Munro C, Cadis H, Pagnotta S, Houliston E, Huynh J.-R (2023). Conserved meiotic mechanisms in the cnidarian Clytia hemisphaerica revealed by Spo11 knockout. Science Advances. 9:eadd2873. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.add2873 Church, SH, Munro C, Dunn, CW, Extavour, CG (2023). The evolution of ovary-biased gene expression in Hawaiian Drosophila. PLoS Genetics. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1010607 Houliston E, Leclère L, Munro C, Copley R & Momose T (2022). Past, present and future of Clytia hemisphaerica as a laboratory jellyfish. Eds: Goldstein B & Srivastava M. Current Topics in Developmental Biology. 147:121-151. doi: 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2021.12.014 HAL (open): https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03346217 Munro C, Zapata F, Howison M, Siebert S, Dunn CW (2022). Evolution of gene expression across species and specialized zooids in Siphonophora. Molecular Biology and Evoution. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msac027 Github repository: Siphonophore_Expression Jessus C, Munro C, Houliston E (2020). Managing the Oocyte Meiotic Arrest — Lessons from Frogs and Jellyfish. Cells. 9:1150. doi:10.3390/cells9051150 Munro, C, Z Vue ,RR Behringer,CW Dunn (2019). Morphology and development of the Portuguese man of war, Physalia physalis. Scientific Reports. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51842-1 Munro, C, S Siebert, F Zapata, M Howison, A Damian-Serrano, S H Church, F E Goetz, P R Pugh, S H D Haddock, C W. Dunn (2018) Improved phylogenetic resolution within Siphonophora (Cnidaria) with implications for trait evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 127:823-833 doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.06.030 . bioRxiv preprint:doi:10.1101/251116.Github repository: siphonophore_phylogeny_2017 Dunn, CW, F Zapata, C Munro, S Siebert, A Hejnol (2018) Pairwise comparisons are problematic when analyzing functional genomic data across species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1707515115. bioRxiv preprint:. Github repository:comparative_expression_2017 Dunn, CW, C Munro (2016) Comparative genomics and the diversity of life. Zoologica Scripta. 45:5-13. doi:10.1111/zsc.12211 Munro, C, JP Morris, A Brown, C Hauton, S Thatje (2015). The role of ontogeny in physiological tolerance: decreasing hydrostatic pressure tolerance with development in the northern stone crab Lithodes maja. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 282(1809): 20150577 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0577 Shank, TM, ET Baker, RW Embley, S Hammond, JF Holden, S White, SL Walker, M Calderon, S Herrera, TJ Lin, C Munro, T Heyl, L Stewart, M Malik, M Lobecker, J Potter (2012) GALREX 2011: Exploration of the Deep-Water Galapagos Region. Oceanography 25 Suppl.: 50-51.