Elena R. GAGINSKAYA


Personal information

Work address

Laboratory of chromosome structure and function, Biology Research Institute, Saint-Petersburg State University, Oranienbaumskoie sch. 2, Stary Petergof, Saint-Petersburg, 198504, Russia.


Education & Qualifications

Master: 1955

the University of St.Petersburg (Leningrad), Saint Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia; ornithology; thesis: "Avian fauna of the northern part of the Leningrad District of Russia" (Prof. Alexey S. Malchevsky, Ph.D.).

Ph.D.: 1972

the University of St.Petersburg (Leningrad), Saint Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia; developmental biology; thesis: "Nuclear structures of growing oocytes in adult birds" (Prof. Archil K. Dondua, Ph.D.).

D.Sc.: 1989 Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia; thesis: "Functional morphology of chromosomes in avian oogenesis.

Postdoctoral research training:

1972-1975 Avian oogenesis: nuclear structure and function in growing oocytes; Biological Research Institute of the University of St.Petersburg (Leningrad), Department of Cytology, Laboratory of Experimental Cytology, Saint Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia; developmental and cell biology.
1976-1984 Avian chromosomes during oogenesis; cell biology and developmental genetics.
Since 1984
up to now

Avian chromosomes in the lampbrush form: morphofunctional and cytogenetic aspects; cell biology and molecular cytogenetics.


Research and academic positions:

Present

Junior Scientist, Biological Research Institute of the University of St.Petersburg (Leningrad), Department of Cytology, Laboratory of Experimental Cytology, Saint Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia.

1976-1989 Senior Scientist, a research group leader, Biological Research Institute of the University of St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Department of Cytology, Laboratory of Electron Microscopy, Saint Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia.
Since 1989
up to now

Head of Laboratory, Biological Research Institute of the University of St.Petersburg, Department of Cytology, Laboratory of Chromosome Structure & Function, Saint Petersburg, Russia.


Computer experience Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Corel Draw, Adobe-Photoshop, PC-Gene, Rasmol, Generuner, Q-FISH.
Languages Russian native language,
English nearly fluent.
Research areas Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology.
Particular fields of interest Nuclear compartmentalization, mechanisms of transcription, chromosome organization, lampbrush chromosomes, satellite DNAs.
Hobbies -----------------

Publications

1. Gaginskaya, E., V. Kasyanov, and G. Kogan. 1988. Amplification of ribosomal genes and formation of extrachromosomal nucleoli in oocytes of starfish Henricia hayashi (Asteroidea: Echinasteridae). Cell Differ. 23: 53-60.

2. Solovei, I., E. Gaginskaya, T. Allen, and H. Macgregor. 1992. A novel structure associated with a lampbrush chromosome in the chicken, Gallus domesticus. J. Cell Sci. 101: 759-772.

3. Solovei, I., E. Gaginskaya, N. Hutchison, and H. Macgregor. 1993. Avian sex chromosomes in the lampbrush form: the ZW lampbrush bivalents from six species of bird. Chromosome research. 1: 153-166.


Current research interests and achievements:

My current research interests are mainly focused on a genome activity during oogenesis, particularly on the problems of lampbrush chromosome (LBCs) structure and functions (the problems of lampbrushology). In the beginning of 80ies, in my research group, we were able to work out the technique of the dissection of LBCs from growing oocytes of bird. The new object have been introduced into this specific field of cell biology and into animal cytogenetics by these works. The system of morphological markers was worked out for the new object. Avian chromosomes in the lampbrush form were suggested as a tool for both physical and genetic mapping of avian genomes at a super-high resolution level. General comparative examination of lampbrush chromosomes in a few species of birds have been done with a special attention to site-specific chromosome markers, - their ultrastructure and cytochemistry.

Avian LBCs, also, have been used as a model object for the general exploration into eukaryotic genome structure and functions. The dynamics of transcription active chromatin and its nucleosome structure were investigated. Certain structural peculiarities of avian LBCs related to avian genome and karyotype organization were found. Specific morpho-functional characteristics of telomeric and centromeric chomosome regions were shown to be related to GC-enriched chromatin functioning. A novel type of protein structure ("spaghetti marker") associated with the LBC has been discovered and examined. The transcription of concerved moderately repeated sequences from vertebrate genomes and that of the 5S rRNA genes were studied in avian LBCs by in situ hybridization. The comparative study of sex chromosomes in the lampbrush form was carried out for six avian species.

I, also, consider my previous investigation of avian oogenesis cytological aspects as a kind of achievements. A special intermediate type of avian oogenesis was discovered in these works, its most important features being found the lack of rDNA amplification and inactivated nucleolar organizers in growing oocytes, on the one hand, and the well-developed lampbrush chromosomes, on the other hand. In a series of publications my colleagues and I were able to form the most complete conception of avian oogenesis based on the dynamics of chromosomes and associated structure from the beginning of meiotic prophase up to oocyte maturation.

Dynamics of nucleolar rDNA gene activity in oocytes of starfish Henricia hayashi (Echinasteridae) was also under my investigation by the in situ hybridization and Ag-NOR technique. In this work, ribosomal gene amplification was firstly discovered and studied in oocytes of a representative of Echinodermata .