The octopus is rich in evolutionary novelties, from an immense nervous system to prehensile arms to a tremendously sophisticated adaptive coloration system. It is the octopus's brain and behavior that has attracted the greatest study, but much of this research was done in the 20th century and limited by the techniques of the time. The major focus of the Ragsdale laboratory is to bring the modern advances in neuroscience, molecular cell biology and genetic manipulation to the study of cephalopod biology. Our first major step was into genomics and transcriptomics. In 2015, the Ragsdale laboratory, in collaboration with the Rokhsar group at UC-Berkeley, reported the genome of the Ragsdale lab's chosen model organism, Octopus bimaculoides. Current research includes comparative cephalopod genomics, octopus arm regeneration, the organization of the cephalopod nervous system, and the neuroendocrinology of octopus sex and death.
The other focus of the Ragsdale laboratory is the evolutionary developmental neurobiology of the neocortex.
Octopuses, Neocortex, Systems Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, Evolutionary biology, Regeneration
Briscoe SD, Albertin CB, Rowell JJ, Ragsdale CW. Neocortical Association Cell Types in the Forebrain of Birds and Alligators. Curr Biol. 2018 03 05; 28(5):686-696.e6. View in: PubMed
Albertin CB, Ragsdale CW. More than one way to a central nervous system. Nature. 2018 01 04; 553(7686):34-36. View in: PubMed
Wang ZY, Ragsdale CW. Cadherin genes and evolutionary novelties in the octopus. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2017 09; 69:151-157. View in: PubMed
Albertin CB, Simakov O, Mitros T, Wang ZY, Pungor JR, Edsinger-Gonzales E, Brenner S, Ragsdale CW, Rokhsar DS. The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties. Nature. 2015 Aug 13; 524(7564):220-4. View in: PubMed
Dugas-Ford J, Rowell JJ, Ragsdale CW. Cell-type homologies and the origins of the neocortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 16; 109(42):16974-9. View in: PubMed
Hasan KB, Agarwala S, Ragsdale CW. PHOX2A regulation of oculomotor complex nucleogenesis. Development. 2010 Apr; 137(7):1205-13. View in: PubMed