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Health Sciences staff profiles

Dr Megan Wilson

PositionSenior Lecturer
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsBSc(Hons) PhD(Otago)
Research summaryDevelopmental biology and genetics
Teaching
  • Developmental biology
  • Genetics and gene regulation
  • HUBS 192, ANAT 243, ANAT 334, ANAT 456, GENE 315, GENE 400, ELM 3

Research

Understanding idiopathic disease using mouse models

We are using the mouse model as a way to understand the biology behind two disorders who etiology is poorly understood.

Sex-dimorphic brain development

This research programme is aimed at understanding how the sex of an individual effects differentiation of the brain, and how this is associated with behavior or risk of neurological damage and disease. Early development of the genital ridge and disorders of sex development.

Whole Body Regeneration model: Botrylloides leachi

Animals capable of some sort of regeneration are distributed widely throughout most phyla. The most dramatic example of such the regenerative process is whole body regeneration (WBR), the process of regenerating an entire adult organism from only a small number of cells or amount of tissue. From an evolutionary perspective, as animal body and tissue complexity increases, regenerative (and particularly WBR) ability decreases concomitantly.

An exception to this is Botrylloides leachi, an invertebrate colonial sea squirt that can undergo WBR. As a chordate (processing a notochord), B. leachi is a close phylogenetic relative of vertebrates and provides an excellent model for vertebrate regeneration.

Publications

Blanchoud, S., Zondag, L., Lamare, M. D., & Wilson, M. J. (2017). Hematological analysis of the Ascidian Botrylloides leachii (Savigny, 1816) during whole-body regeneration. Biological Bulletin, 232(3), 143-157. doi: 10.1086/692841

Cheung, T. T., Weston, M. K., & Wilson, M. J. (2017). Selection and evaluation of reference genes for analysis of mouse (Mus musculus) sex-dimorphic brain development. PeerJ, 5, e2909. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2909

Zondag, L. E., Rutherford, K., Gemmell, N. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2016). Uncovering the pathways underlying whole body regeneration in a chordate model, Botrylloides leachi using de novo transcriptome analysis. BMC Genomics, 17(1), 114. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2435-6

Ajay Sharma, L., Ali, M. A., Love, R. M., Wilson, M. J., & Dias, G. J. (2016). Novel keratin preparation supports growth and differentiation of odontoblast-like cells. International Endodontic Journal, 49(5), 471-482. doi: 10.1111/iej.12476

Heenan, P., Zondag, L., & Wilson, M. J. (2016). Evolution of the Sox gene family within the chordate phylum. Gene, 575, 385-392. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2015.09.013

Chapter in Book - Research

Dearden, P. K., Duncan, E. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2010). The honeybee Apis mellifera. In Emerging model organisms: A laboratory manual (Vol. 2). (pp. 223-246). Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Press.

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Journal - Research Article

Blanchoud, S., Zondag, L., Lamare, M. D., & Wilson, M. J. (2017). Hematological analysis of the Ascidian Botrylloides leachii (Savigny, 1816) during whole-body regeneration. Biological Bulletin, 232(3), 143-157. doi: 10.1086/692841

Cheung, T. T., Weston, M. K., & Wilson, M. J. (2017). Selection and evaluation of reference genes for analysis of mouse (Mus musculus) sex-dimorphic brain development. PeerJ, 5, e2909. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2909

Zondag, L. E., Rutherford, K., Gemmell, N. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2016). Uncovering the pathways underlying whole body regeneration in a chordate model, Botrylloides leachi using de novo transcriptome analysis. BMC Genomics, 17(1), 114. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2435-6

Heenan, P., Zondag, L., & Wilson, M. J. (2016). Evolution of the Sox gene family within the chordate phylum. Gene, 575, 385-392. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2015.09.013

Ajay Sharma, L., Ali, M. A., Love, R. M., Wilson, M. J., & Dias, G. J. (2016). Novel keratin preparation supports growth and differentiation of odontoblast-like cells. International Endodontic Journal, 49(5), 471-482. doi: 10.1111/iej.12476

Gray, M. J., Kannu, P., Sharma, S., Neyt, C., Zhang, D., Paria, N., Daniel, P. B., … Wilson, M. J., … Markie, D. M., … Robertson, S. P. (2015). Mutations preventing regulated exon skipping in MET cause osteofibrous dysplasia. American Journal of Human Genetics, 97(6), 837-847. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.11.001

Yang, Y., & Wilson, M. J. (2015). Lhx9 gene expression during early limb development in mice requires the FGF signalling pathway. Gene Expression Patterns, 19, 45-51. doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2015.07.002

Wilson, M. J., Kenny, N. J., & Dearden, P. K. (2014). Components of the dorsal-ventral pathway also contribute to anterior-posterior patterning in honeybee embryos (Apis mellifera). EvoDevo, 5, 11. doi: 10.1186/2041-9139-5-11

Wilson, M. J., & Dearden, P. K. (2013). RNA localization in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) oocyte reveals insights about the evolution of RNA localization mechanisms. Developmental Biology, 375(2), 193-201. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.01.001

Wilson, M. J., & Dearden, P. K. (2012). Pair-rule gene orthologues have unexpected maternal roles in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). PLoS ONE, 7(9), e46490. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046490

Zondag, L., Dearden, P. K., & Wilson, M. J. (2012). Deep sequencing and expression of microRNAs from early honeybee (Apis mellifera) embryos reveals a role in regulating early embryonic patterning. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12, 211. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-12-211

Wilson, M. J., & Dearden, P. K. (2011). Diversity in insect axis formation: Two orthodenticle genes and hunchback act in anterior patterning and influence dorsoventral organization in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Development, 138(16), 3497-3507. doi: 10.1242/dev.067926

Wilson, M. J., Abbott, H., & Dearden, P. K. (2011). The evolution of oocyte patterning in insects: Multiple cell-signaling pathways are active during honeybee oogenesis and are likely to play a role in axis patterning. Evolution & Development, 13(2), 127-137. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-142X.2011.00463.x

Wilson, M. J., McKelvey, B. H., van der Heide, S., & Dearden, P. K. (2010). Notch signaling does not regulate segmentation in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Development Genes & Evolution, 220(7-8), 179-190. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2010.02100.x

Wilson, M. J., Havler, M., & Dearden, P. K. (2010). Giant, Krüppel, and caudal act as gap genes with extensive roles in patterning the honeybee embryo. Developmental Biology, 339(1), 200-211. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.12.015

The International Aphid Genomics Consortium, including Smith, J., Wilson, M., Dearden, P., & Duncan, E. J. (2010). Genome sequence of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. PLoS Biology, 8(2), e1000313. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000313

Shigenobu, S., Bickel, R. D., Brisson, J. A., Butts, T., Chang, C.-C., Christiaens, O., … Duncan, E. J., … Smith, J., … Wilson, M. J., Dearden, P. K., & Stern, D. L. (2010). Comprehensive survey of developmental genes in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum: Frequent lineage-specific duplications and losses of developmental genes. Insect Molecular Biology, 19(Suppl. 2), 47-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2009.00944.x

Dearden, P. K., Duncan, E. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2009). In situ hybridization of sectioned honeybee (Apis mellifera) tissues. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 4(6). doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5226

Dearden, P. K., Duncan, E. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2009). The honeybee Apis mellifera. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 4(6). doi: 10.1101/pdb.emo123

Dearden, P. K., Duncan, E. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2009). Rna interference (RNAi) in honeybee (Apis mellifera) embryos. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 4(6). doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5228

Dearden, P. K., Duncan, E. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2009). Fixation and storage of honeybee (Apis mellifera) tissues. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 4(6). doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5224

Wilson, M. J., & Dearden, P. K. (2009). Tailless patterning functions are conserved in the honeybee even in the absence of Torso signaling. Developmental Biology, 335(1), 276-287. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.09.002

Dearden, P. K., Duncan, E. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2009). Immunohistochemistry on honeybee (Apis mellifera) embryos. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 4(6). doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5227

Dearden, P. K., Duncan, E. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2009). Whole-mount in situ hybridization of honeybee (Apis mellifera) tissues. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, 4(6). doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5225

Wilson, M. J., & Dearden, P. K. (2008). Evolution of the insect Sox genes. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8, 120. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-8-120

Duncan, E. J., Wilson, M. J., Smith, J. M., & Dearden, P. K. (2008). Evolutionary origin and genomic organisation of runt-domain containing genes in arthropods. BMC Genomics, 9, 588. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-9-558

Dearden, P. K., Wilson, M. J., Sablan, L., Osborne, P. W., Havler, M., McNaughton, E., … Beye, M. (2006). Patterns of conservation and change in honey bee developmental genes. Genome Research, 16(11), 1376-1384. doi: 10.1101/gr.5108606

Bowles, J., Knight, D., Smith, C., Wilhelm, D., Richman, J., Mamiya, S., … Wilson, M. J., … Koopman, P. (2006). Retinoid signaling determines germ cell fate in mice. Science, 312, 596-600.

Wilson, M. J., Bowles, J., & Koopman, P. (2006). The matricellular protein SPARC is internalized in Sertoli, Leydig, and germ cells during testis differentiation. Molecular Reproduction & Development, 73, 531-539.

The Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium, including Beggs, K. T., Mercer, A. R., Dearden, P. K., & Wilson, M. J. (2006). Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera. Nature, 443, 931-949.

Wilson, M. J., & Lamont, I. L. (2006). Mutational analysis of an extracytoplasmic-function sigma factor to investigate its interactions with RNA polymerase and DNA. Journal of Bacteriology, 188(5), 1935-1942.

Wilhelm, D., Martinson, F., Bradford, S., Wilson, M. J., Combes, A. N., Beverdam, A., … Koopman, P. (2005). Sertoli cell differentiation is induced both cell-autonomously and through prostaglandin signalling during mammalian sex determination. Developmental Biology, 287, 111-124.

Wilson, M. J., Jeyasuria, P., Parker, K. L., & Koopman, P. (2005). The transcription factors steroidogenic factor-1 and SOX9 regulate expression of Vanin-1 during mouse testis development. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280(7), 5917-5923.

Jeanes, A., Wilhelm, D., Wilson, M. J., Bowles, J., McClive, P. J., Sinclair, A. H., & Koopman, P. (2005). Evaluation of candidate markers for the peritubular myoid cell lineage in the developing mouse testis. Reproduction, 130, 509-516.

Wilson, M. J., Liaw, L., & Koopman, P. (2005). Osteopontin and related SIBLING glycoprotein genes are expressed by Sertoli cells during mouse testis development. Developmental Dynamics, 233, 1488-1495.

Smith, J., Bowles, J., Wilson, M., & Koopman, P. (2004). HMG box transcription factor gene Hbp1 is expressed in germ cells of the developing mouse testis. Developmental Dynamics, 230, 366-370.

Smith, J., Bowles, J., Wilson, M., Teasdale, R. D., & Koopman, P. (2004). Expression of the tudor-related gene Tdrd5 during development of the male germline in mice. Gene Expression Patterns, 4, 701-705.

Schepers, G., Wilson, M., Wilhelm, D., & Koopman, P. (2003). SOX8 is expressed during testis differentiation in mice and synergizes with SF1 to activate the Amh promoter in vitro. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278(30), 28101-28108.

Wilson, M., & Koopman, P. (2002). Matching SOX: Partner proteins and co-factors of the SOX family of transcriptional regulators. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 12, 441-446.

Visca, P., Leoni, L., Wilson, M. J., & Lamont, I. L. (2002). Iron transport and regulation, cell signalling and genomics: Lessons from Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas. Molecular Microbiology, 45(5), 1177-1190.

Wilson, M. J., McMorran, B. J., & Lamont, I. L. (2001). Analysis of promoters recognized by PvdS, an extracytoplasmic function sigma factor protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Journal of Bacteriology, 183(6), 2151-2155.

Wilderman, P. J., Vasil, A. I., Johnson, Z., Wilson, M. J., Cunliffe, H. E., Lamont, I. L., & Vasil, M. L. (2001). Characterization of an endoprotease (PrpL) encoded by a PvdS-regulated gene in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Infection & Immunity, 69(9), 5385-5394.

Wilson, M. J., & Lamont, I. L. (2000). Characterization of an ECF sigma factor protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Biochemical & Biophysical Research Communications, 273(2), 578-583.

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