David Gopaulchan

Ph.D. Candidate 

D. Gopaulchan
Contact Information

Department of Life Sciences
The University of The West Indies
St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Location:
Natural Sciences Building

Tel: 1 (868) 662 2002 ext. 83111
Fax: 1(868) 663-5241

 

Send an e-mail

 
Education:
  • Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (ongoing)
  • B.Sc. Biochemistry (Hons), University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (2006)
Training:
  • Art of Gene Expression Analysis RNA-seq workshop hosted by Prof. Mikhail Matz from the Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin (2013)
  • Workshop in Genomics and Bioinformatics conducted by Prof. Karen Nelson and Dr. Tim Stockwell from the J. Craig Venter Institute; hosted by the Faculties of Science and Technology and Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies (2013)
  • Workshop in Analysis of Genetic Data conducted by Prof. Naomi S. Altman from Pennsylvania State University; hosted by the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of the West Indies (2013)
  • Caribbean Training Program on Bioinformatics: Application of Structural and Computational Biology in Biomedical Sciences International Workshop hosted by The International Centre for Genetics Engineering and Biotechnology and United Nations University-Biotechnology for Latin America and the Caribbean (2010)
Work Experience:
  • Guest Lecturer in Molecular Biology undergraduate course at the University of the West Indies teaching real-time quantitative PCR (2013) and bioinformatics (2007 - 2009)
  • Biotechnology Laboratory Technician, Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago (2013)
  • Demonstrator in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago (2006, 2010 – 2012)
Project Details:

Anthurium andraeanum (Hort.) is a tropical ornamental valued for its colorful spathe. The Caribbean had a thriving anthurium industry, however, over the past two decades exports have been steadily declining. Two factors for this trend have been the high prevalence of diseases and the lack of novel spathe colors to compete with international growers. Plant breeders typically develop new colors through interspecific hybridization, however, this is time consuming, introduces unexpected traits and is limited to colors within the existing gene pool. Genetic modification offers an alternative approach for creating novel colors and patterns but it requires an understanding of the biochemical pathway for pigment formation.

Anthocyanins are the main pigments in the spathes of anthurium. Past studies have shown three loci, O, R and M control anthocyanin synthesis and therefore determine spathe color. However, this proposed model for spathe color inheritance has not been verified at the molecular level. The overall aim of this research is to assess the validity of the genetic model and to address its inadequacies. Such information would provide an insight into anthocyanin production and thereby lay the foundation for a molecular breeding program, paving the way for manipulating spathe color in the species.

Supervisors: Prof. P. Umaharan and Dr. A. Lennon

 
Research Experience and Skills:
  • DNA, RNA and protein techniques
  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • Real-time quantitative PCR
  • Antibody development
  • Western hybridization
  • Microbiology
  • Microscopy and image processing
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Unix and bioinformatics
  • Phylogenetics
  • RNA-seq                     
Publications:
  • Gopaulchan, David, Adrian M. Lennon, and Pathmanathan Umaharan. Expression of flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase is a major control point in the anthocyanin pathway in Anthurium. (Under review)
  • Gopaulchan, David, Pathmanathan Umaharan, and Adrian M. Lennon. 2014. "A molecular assessment of the genetic model of spathe color inheritance in Anthurium andraeanum (Hort.)." Planta 239 (3):695-705
  • Gopaulchan, David, Adrian M. Lennon, and Pathmanathan Umaharan. 2013. "Identification of reference genes for expression studies using quantitative RT-PCR in spathe tissue of Anthurium andraeanum (Hort.)." Scientia Horticulturae 153:1-7
  • Gopaulchan, David, Pathmanathan Umaharan, and Adrian M. Lennon. 2012. "Proceedings from the Department of Life Sciences 2nd Research Symposium: Creating new colors and patterns in Anthurium." Living World Journal 2012 Supplement 1. p.4

 

Revised: 22 May 2014

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