[Coral-List] Coral colors workshop and meeting

Anya Salih anya at emu.usyd.edu.au
Sun Aug 3 04:14:11 EDT 2003

Dear colleagues,

The Australian Key Center for Microscopy and Microanalysis of 
University of Sydney is organizing a workshop on the role of color 
and fluorescent pigments in reef building corals.

The workshop CoReLL-2003 (Coral Reef Light and Life) will provide an 
opportunity for researchers to apply a range of optical (fluorescence 
microscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and pulse amplitude modulation 
fluorometry) and molecular techniques to investigate the diversity, 
light regulatory and other functional roles of coral host-based 
fluorescent and color pigment proteins. Equipment supplied by 
workshop sponsors Carl Zeiss Pty Ltd, Varian Inc. and Heinz Walz GmbH.

The workshop will take place on board of the Undersea Explorer 
(<http://www.undersea.com.au>www.undersea.com.au) on 30 August - 5 
September, 2003. The aim is to gather together a team of 
international scientists specializing in research of corals (and 
related Anthozoa) and their colors - the fluorescent and chromophoric 
GFP (green fluorescent protein) pigments. Undersea Explorer will 
visit reefs of the Great Barrier Reef and the Osprey reef in the 
Coral Sea.

Some of the research topics will include:
Spectral and molecular diversity of coral host-based pigments
Bathymetric spectral tuning
Photoprotective and light amplifying functions
Role in coral post-bleaching recovery and susceptibility to diseases

The workshop cost of AUD $1950 covers all on-board expenses (twin 
share air-conditioned cabin, chef cooked meals, diving and use of 
equipment, facilities and workshop administrative costs). Limited 
number of spaces are still available.

The workshop will be followed by a meeting at the University of Sydney

GFP-type proteins:
diversity, novel properties, biological roles
and imaging applications.

Location: Electron Microscope Unit and
the Australian Key Center for Microscopy & Microanalysis,
University of Sydney. Lecture room LG92AB

Date: September 9, 2003
Time: 9:00 to 18:00

The wide availability of fluorescence imaging techniques and the 
emergence of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and its variants 
have revolutionized biological research over the recent years. 
Fluorescent proteins have been isolated from a variety of organisms 
other than jellyfish and recent progress in the discovery of novel 
GFP-types from reef corals and related cnidarians has provided 
significant opportunities to develop new & improved optical probes 
for in vitro and in vivo applications. These include cnidarian 
red-shifted spectral variants (e.g., DsRed); novel FRET (fluorescence 
resonance energy transfer) protein partners; photoactivatable and 
photoconvertable GFP-types.

The Australian Key Center for Microscopy and Microanalysis of the 
University of Sydney is hosting a one day mini-symposium on the 
GFP-type proteins: their diversity, optical and molecular 
characteristics, evolution and biological function; and novel 
applications in cellular optical imaging. There is much debate over a 
wide variety of observed phenomena, properties and hypothesized 
functions of these unusual photoproteins and the meeting will provide 
a forum for their discussion.

Recent progress will also be discussed in the application of GFP-type 
probes for monitoring structural and physiological processes, 
pathologic conditions and in biotechnology. Researchers are invited 
to discuss their experiences in the application of GFP and related 
proteins in cellular studies, together with FRET, FLIM and FRAM 
methods and applications. The meeting will be informal and aims to 
bring together researchers interested in the latest advances in these 
fields and to provide opportunities for multi-disciplinary approaches 
and discussions.

Registration: AUD $100 (students $20).

Presentation format - 15 or 30 min; refreshments provided during 
morning and afternoon breaks; post-forum drinks.

Presentations by invited speakers

Kindling red fluorescent proteins: properties and applications for 
precise in vivo photolabeling. K. Lukyanov, Institute of Bioorganic 
Chemistry (Russia)
Kindling red fluorescent proteins: properties and applications for 
precise in vivo photolabeling. Using site-directed mutagenesis of 
non-fluorescent GFP-like chromoproteins we developed "kindling 
fluorescent proteins" (KFPs) that are capable of photoconversion from 
the nonfluorescent to a red fluorescent form. KFPs can be used for 
precise in vivo photolabeling to track the movements of cells, 
organelles, and proteins. We propose a model of the kindling 
mechanism, in which the key event is chromophore cis-trans 

A colourless GFP-like protein from the hydromedusa Aequorea 
coerulescens and its fluorescent mutants. N. Gurskaya, Institute of 
Bioorganic Chemistry (Russia)
We have cloned an unusual colorless GFP-like protein from Aequorea 
coerulescens. Its random mutagenesis generated green fluorescent 
mutants, with the strongest emitters found to contain an Glu222-->Gly 
(E222G) substitution, which removed the evolutionarily invariant 
Glu222. Re-introduction of Glu222 into the most fluorescent random 
mutant, named aceGFP, converted it into a colorless protein. This 
protein protein demonstrated a novel type of UV-induced 
photoconversion, from an immature non-fluorescent form into a green 
fluorescent form.

How corals got their colors. M. Matz, University of Florida (USA)
In modern corals and other reef Anthozoa, the color diversity 
determined by GFP-like proteins evolved independently in several 
groups, at about the time of establishment of first coral reef 
ecosystems in mid-Triassic. Natural selection played the key role in 
its evolution. Intra-specific color variations in corals are not due 
to polymorphism, but to phenotypic plasticity that is dependent on at 
least four, and maybe up to seven, different genetic loci coding for 
different colors. Detailed analysis of natural selection footprints 
within these genes suggests that the function of the corresponding 
proteins is more complex than simple pigmentation, and may be related 
to evolution of coral/zooxanthellae symbiosis at molecular level.

Molecular characterization and biological function of novel 
fluorescent proteins. J. Wiedenmann, University of Ulm (Germany)
The discovery of fluorescent proteins (FPs) in nonbioluminescent 
anthozoa with different emission colors opened up new perspectives in 
fluorescent protein technology. The talk will present recent advances 
of our group in cloning of novel FPs from anthozoan species and their 
engineering. Moreover, aspects of their biological function will be 

Please send an expression of interest  to attend the workshop or 
mini-symposium, to Anya Salih anya at emu.usyd.edu.au, including your 
name, affiliation, telephone and presentation title. Talks time-table 
and registration payment details will be subsequently sent to 

Dr Anya Salih
APD(I) Research Fellow         
Electron Microscope Unit
& The Australian Key Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis
Nanostructural Analysis Network Organisation (NANO)
Major National Research Facility (MNRF)

Madsen Building FO9       		Email: anya at emu.usyd.edu.au    
The University of Sydney		Telephone: 02-93517540
Sydney, 2006, AUSTRALIA			Facsimile: 02-93517682


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