Professor Bernard Degnan

UQ Development Fellow

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
b.degnan@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52467

Overview

Research Interests

  • Genomes, Development & Evolution
    We are interested in the genomic, cellular and developmental mechanisms that underpin the formation and evolution of animals. Our lab studies a wide range of marine invertebrates, some that have traits of economic and environmental value and others that act as models to address fundamental questions in biology and biomedicine.
  • 1. The origin of animal complexity
    The genome orchestrates the formation and maintenance of animal body plans. We seek to understand the nature and origin of the fundamental genomic rules governing animal multicellularity and complexity. Many of our studies focus on a simple marine sponge, and current research efforts include the analysis of development, stem cells and regeneration.
  • 2. Marine invertebrate biology
    We have a general interest in the life cycles of coral reef invertebrates, and currently study a range of organismal phenomena from molecular, cellular and developmental perspectives. This includes developing and applying genomic and proteomic tools to problems in the marine environment such as biocontrol of pest species (e.g. crown-of-thorns starfish).
  • 3. Functional genomics and evolution of biomineralization
    The instructions to fabricate shells and skeletons of phenomenal strength, purity and beauty are encoded in the genomes of a wide range of animals. We investigate how genes and their products come together to direct the formation and patterning of the biominerals that build these structures. Some of these projects are in collaboration with industry partners with interests in the fabrication of materials of commercial value.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Biochemistry), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology), University of California

Publications

  • Gaiti, Federico, Jindrich, Katia, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Roper, Kathrein E., Degnan, Bernard M. and Tanurdzic, Milos (2017) Landscape of histone modifications in a sponge reveals the origin of animal cis-regulatory complexity. Elife, 6 . doi:10.7554/eLife.22194

  • Aguilera, Felipe, McDougall, Carmel and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Co-option and de novo gene evolution underlie molluscan shell diversity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 4: 779-792. doi:10.1093/molbev/msw294

  • Hall, Michael R., Kocot, Kevin M., Baughman, Kenneth W., Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Hatleberg, William L. ., Krishnan, Arunkumar, McDougall, Carmel, Motti, Cherie A., Shoguchi, Eiichi, Wang, Tianfang, Xiang, Xueyan, Zhao, Min, Bose, Utpal, Shinzato, Chuya, Hisata, Kanako, Fujie, Manabu, Kanda, Miyuki, Cummins, Scott F., Satoh, Noriyuki, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) The crown-of-thorns starfish genome as a guide for biocontrol of this coral reef pest. Nature, 544 7649: 231-234. doi:10.1038/nature22033

  • Grice, Laura F., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Roper, Kathrein E., Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Origin and evolution of the sponge aggregation factor gene family. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 5: 1083-1099. doi:10.1093/molbev/msx058

  • Ueda, Nobuo, Richards, Gemma S., Degnan, Bernard M., Kranz, Alexandrea, Adamska, Maja, Croll, Roger P. and Degnan, Sandie M. (2016) An ancient role for nitric oxide in regulating the animal pelagobenthic life cycle: evidence from a marine sponge. Scientific Reports, 6 37546: . doi:10.1038/srep37546

  • Levin, Michal, Anavy, Leon, Cole, Alison G., Winter, Eitan, Mostov, Natalia, Khair, Sally, Senderovich, Naftalie, Kovalev, Ekaterina, Silver, David H., Feder, Martin, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Simmons, David, Simakov, Oleg, Larsson, Tomas, Liu, Shang-Yun, Jerafi-Vider, Ayelet, Yaniv, Karina, Ryan, Joseph F., Martindale, Mark Q., Rink, Jochen C., Arendt, Detlev, Degnan, Sandie M., Degnan, Bernard M., Hashimshony, Tamar and Yanai, Itai (2016) The mid-developmental transition and the evolution of animal body plans. Nature, 531 7596: 637-+. doi:10.1038/nature16994

  • Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2016) Bilaterian-like promoters in the highly compact Amphimedon queenslandica genome. Scientific Reports, 6 Art No.: 22496: . doi:10.1038/srep22496

  • Gaiti, Federico, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Calcino, Andrew D., Yanai, Itai, Tanurdzic, Milos and Degnan, Bernard M. (2015) Dynamic and Widespread lncRNA Expression in a Sponge and the Origin of Animal Complexity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32 9: 2367-2382. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv117

View all Publications

Publications

Featured Publications

  • Gaiti, Federico, Jindrich, Katia, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Roper, Kathrein E., Degnan, Bernard M. and Tanurdzic, Milos (2017) Landscape of histone modifications in a sponge reveals the origin of animal cis-regulatory complexity. Elife, 6 . doi:10.7554/eLife.22194

  • Aguilera, Felipe, McDougall, Carmel and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Co-option and de novo gene evolution underlie molluscan shell diversity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 4: 779-792. doi:10.1093/molbev/msw294

  • Hall, Michael R., Kocot, Kevin M., Baughman, Kenneth W., Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Hatleberg, William L. ., Krishnan, Arunkumar, McDougall, Carmel, Motti, Cherie A., Shoguchi, Eiichi, Wang, Tianfang, Xiang, Xueyan, Zhao, Min, Bose, Utpal, Shinzato, Chuya, Hisata, Kanako, Fujie, Manabu, Kanda, Miyuki, Cummins, Scott F., Satoh, Noriyuki, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) The crown-of-thorns starfish genome as a guide for biocontrol of this coral reef pest. Nature, 544 7649: 231-234. doi:10.1038/nature22033

  • Grice, Laura F., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Roper, Kathrein E., Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Origin and evolution of the sponge aggregation factor gene family. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 5: 1083-1099. doi:10.1093/molbev/msx058

  • Ueda, Nobuo, Richards, Gemma S., Degnan, Bernard M., Kranz, Alexandrea, Adamska, Maja, Croll, Roger P. and Degnan, Sandie M. (2016) An ancient role for nitric oxide in regulating the animal pelagobenthic life cycle: evidence from a marine sponge. Scientific Reports, 6 37546: . doi:10.1038/srep37546

  • Levin, Michal, Anavy, Leon, Cole, Alison G., Winter, Eitan, Mostov, Natalia, Khair, Sally, Senderovich, Naftalie, Kovalev, Ekaterina, Silver, David H., Feder, Martin, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Simmons, David, Simakov, Oleg, Larsson, Tomas, Liu, Shang-Yun, Jerafi-Vider, Ayelet, Yaniv, Karina, Ryan, Joseph F., Martindale, Mark Q., Rink, Jochen C., Arendt, Detlev, Degnan, Sandie M., Degnan, Bernard M., Hashimshony, Tamar and Yanai, Itai (2016) The mid-developmental transition and the evolution of animal body plans. Nature, 531 7596: 637-+. doi:10.1038/nature16994

  • Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2016) Bilaterian-like promoters in the highly compact Amphimedon queenslandica genome. Scientific Reports, 6 Art No.: 22496: . doi:10.1038/srep22496

  • Gaiti, Federico, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Calcino, Andrew D., Yanai, Itai, Tanurdzic, Milos and Degnan, Bernard M. (2015) Dynamic and Widespread lncRNA Expression in a Sponge and the Origin of Animal Complexity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32 9: 2367-2382. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv117

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Hatleberg, W. L., Degnan, S. M. and Degnan, B. M. (2016). One genome, two body plans: how do larval and adult gene expression profiles differ in the sponge WAmphimedon queenslandica?. In: Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB), Portland, OR, United States, (E85-E85). 3-7 January 2016.

  • Nakanishi, N., Degnan, S. M. and Degnan, B. M. (2015). Sensory biology of sponge settlement and metamorphosis: towards defining the baseline for nervous system evolution. In: Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), West Palm Beach Fl, (E131-E131). 3-7 January 2015.

  • Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Stoupin, Daniel, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2015). Sensory flask cells in sponge larvae regulate metamorphosis via calcium signaling. In: Annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, West Palm Beach, Florida, United States, (1018-1027). 3-7 January 2015. doi:10.1093/icb/icv014

  • Nakanishi, N., Sogabe, S. and Degnan, B. (2013). Metamorphosis in the Demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. In: Meeting Abstracts. Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), San Francisco Ca, (E340-E340). 03-07 January 2013.

  • York, Patrick S., Cummins, Scott F., Degnan, Sandie M., Woodcroft, Ben J. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2010). Identification of genes differentially expressed in the ganglia of growing haliotis asinina. In: Peter A. Cook, Journal of Shellfish Research. 7th International Symposium on Abalone Biology, Fisheries and Culture, Pattaya, Thailand, (741-752). 19-24 July 2009. doi:10.2983/035.029.0328

  • Richards, G. S. and Degnan, B. M. (2009). The dawn of developmental signaling in the metazoa. In: Bruce Stillman, David J. Stewart and J. A. Witkowski, Evolution: The Molecular Landscape. 74th Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, New York, (81-90). 27 May-1 June 2009. doi:10.1101/sqb.2009.74.028

  • Sellars, M. J., Lyons, R. E., Grewe, P. M., Degnan, B. M. and Preston, N. P. (2007). Isolation of a vasa-like gene from the Kuruma shrimp Marsupenaeus japonicus and its differential expression pattern during embryonic, larval and post larval development. In: Aquaculture. 9th International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture, Montpellier France, (S309-S310). Jun 26-30, 2006. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2007.07.182

  • Degnan, S. M. and Degnan, B. M. (2006). The origin of the metazoan biphasic life cycle: New insights from an ancient phylum. In: Integrative And Comparative Biology: Symposia and Oral Abstracts. SICB Annual Meeting 2006, Orlando, FL, (986-986). January 4-8, 2006. doi:10.1093/icb/45.6.955

  • Skilleter, G. A., Walker, S. J., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2004). Haliclona alkaloids, sponge mimics, and the role of allelochemicals in the field. In: 11th International Symposium on Marine Natural Products. 11th International Symposium on Marine Natural Products, Sorrento, (Abstract). Sept, 2004.

  • Roper, K. E., Woods, R., Garson, M. J., Lavin, M. F. and Degnan, B. M. (2004). Microarrays without a backbone: using a boutique ascidian chip in an ecological functional genomics context. In: Lorne Genome Conference. Lorne Genome Conference, Melbourne, (Abstract). February 2004.

  • Rice, T., O'Brien, E. K. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Analysis of differential gene expression during the semi-lunar reproductive cycle of Haliotis asinina. In: J. N. A. Hooper and N. Hall and B. M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (138-138). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Gauthier, M. M., Degnan, B. M. and Ross, I. L. (2003). Antifouling effects of the bryozoan Sinupetraliella litoralis on larvae of the ascidian Herdmania curvata. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (80-80). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • De La Vega, E., Degnan, B. M., Hall, M.A., Cowley, J. A. and Wilson, K. (2003). Application of quantitative real-time RT-PCR to measure the effect of stress on gill-associated virus (GAV) infection levels in Penaeus monodon. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (157-158). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Wade, N. M., Degnan, B. M., Wilson, K., Hall, M. A. and Melville-Smith, R. (2003). Crustacean shell colour formation and the "white" phase of the Western Rock Lobster, Panulirus cygnus. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (158-158). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Degnan, B. M., Leys, S. P., Larroux, C., Liubicich and Hinman, V. F. (2003). Developmental genes in sponges and the antiquity of animal development. In: Integrative and Comparative Biology: SICB 2004 Annual Meeting & Exhibition. Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans, LA, (989-989). 5th - 9th January, 2004.

  • McDougall, C. L., Jackson, D. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Genetic construction and patterning of abalone shells. In: J. N. A. Hooper and N. Hall and B. M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (117-117). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Lucas, T., Selvamani, J.P. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Microsatellites in the tropical abalone: tracking fertilization success and family lines in aquaculture. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (110-110). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Degnan, B. M., Woods, R. F. G., Bebell, L., Roper, K. E. and Lavin, M. F. (2003). Molecular basis of larval development and early metamorphosis in the ascidian Herdmania curvata. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (70-70). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Moss, H. M. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Temperature, development and biogeography of Haliotis asinina. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (123-123). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Walker, S. J., Skilleter, G. A., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). The effect of sponge allelochemicals on endofaunal communities: a field test using sponge mimics. In: J. N. A. Hooper and N. Hall and B. M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (159-159). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Roper, K. E., Woods, R., Garson, M. J., Lavin, M. F. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Using a model system and microarrays to identify conserved molecular targets of marine allelochemicals. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (143-143). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Worheide, G., Degnan, B. M., Hopper, J. L. and Reitner, J. (2002). Phylogeography and taxonomy of the Indo-Pacific reef cave dwelling coralline demosponge Astrosclera 'willeyana': new data from nuclear internal transcribed spacer sequences. In: Proceedings of the Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium. Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, Indonesia, (339-345). 23 - 27 October 2000.

  • Green, K., Russell, B. D., Clark, R., Jones, M. K., Skilleter, G. A., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2002). Sponge allelochemical induces ascidian development but inhibits metamorphosis. In: 23rd International Conference on Natural Products. 23rd International Conference on Natural Products, Italy, ((Abstract)). July, 2002.

  • Degnan, B. M. (2001). Settlement and metamorphosis of the tropical ascidian Herdmania curvata. In: H. Sawada, H. Yokosawa and C.C. Lambert, The Biology of Ascidians. The First International Symposium on the Biology of Ascidians, Sapporo, Japan, (258-263). 26-30 June, 2000.

  • Green, K., Russell, B. D., Clark, R. J., Jones, M. K., Skilleter, G. A., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2001). Sponge alleleochemical induces ascidian settlement but inhibits metamorphosis. In: International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. 3rd IUPAC International Conference on Biodiversity, Turkey, (SL-10B-SL-10B). 2001.

  • Clark, R. J., Degnan, B. M., Garson, M. J., Green, K. M., Jones, M. K., Russell, B. D. and Skilleter, G. A. (2001). Sponge allelochemical induces ascidian development but inhibits metamorphosis. In: Abstracts of the World Chemistry Congress 2001. The World Chemistry Congress 2001, Brisbane, Australia, (82-82). 106 July 2001.

  • Garson, M. J., Blunt, J. W., Clark, R., Degnan, B. M., Green, K. M., Munro, M. H., Simpson, J. and Skilleter, G. A. (2000). Marine ecology: The natural approach to finding bioactives. In: Australasian Biotechnological Association Conference. Australasian Biotechnological Association Conference, Brisbane, (). 2-6 July, 2000.

  • Green, K. M., Russell, B. D., Clark, R., Jones, M. K., Skilleter, G. A., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2000). Sponge allelochemical induces ascidian development but inhibits metamorphosis. In: Proceedings of the Pacifichem 2000. Pacifichem 2000, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, (). 14-19 December, 2000.

  • Johnson, C. R., Lewis, T. E., Nichols, D. S. and Degnan, B. M. (1997). Bacterial induction of settlement and metamorphosis in marine invertebrates. In: H. A. Lessios and I. G. Macintyre, 8th International Coral Reef Symposium, California, (1219-1224). June 24-29, 1996.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision