Amphioxus Satellite Meeting
The phylogenetic position of the cephalochordate amphioxus, together with its relatively simple and evolutionarily conserved morphology and genome structure, has led to its use as a model for studies of animal evolution, with a special focus on the origin of bilaterians, chordates and vertebrates. In particular, the recent development of technical approaches, as well as access to several complete amphioxus genome sequences, has provided the community with tools to address these key events of metazoan diversification.
Today, researchers mainly work on four different species, for which animal husbandry protocols are being developed and two complete genome sequences are available (and two more in progress). The amenability of amphioxus for classical embryological and developmental techniques is constantly being improved, with the number of publications dedicated to this model have considerably increased in the course of the last few years. However, at present, no networking and exchange platform exists for the members of the amphioxus to present and exchange results and ideas for improving, as a community, the amphioxus system as a model organism.
In an effort to advance amphioxus as a model organism, a satellite meeting on amphioxus will thus be held ahead of the 2014 EuroEvoDevo meeting in Vienna. The amphioxus satellite meeting has the goal of facilitating new exchanges and collaborations among researchers and hopefully to create a regular event where these exchanges can be continued in the future.
Aims of event
The 2014 EuroEvoDevo amphioxus satellite meeting aims at bringing together established experts on different aspects of amphioxus research and on different amphioxus species as well as those scientists interested in the model as part of their ongoing or future research topics, to discuss potential, possibilities and future directions of the model. The first amphioxus satellite meeting will cover two major scientific topics, one technical and one conceptual:
1. Technical advances of the amphioxus model: genomes, husbandry and techniques
2. Amphioxus and the evolution of bilaterian body plans
Each of these topics will be addressed in the form of research presentations followed by summarizing round-table discussions.