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Mikhail Matz

Matz, Mikhail
Assistant Professor, Integrative Biology



Main Office: PAT 432 Phone: 512-992-8086

Alternate Office: PAT 432 Phone: 512-475-6424

Mailing Address:
Integrative Biology
University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station
Austin,TX 78712

Research Summary:
We are an ecological genomics lab working predominantly with reef-building corals. Our main research projects are: (1) Adaptive genetic variation in reef-building corals. We use genetics and genomics to discover molecular determinants of thermal tolerance, dispersal range, and symbiosis specificity, and trace their evolution in natural populations. (2) Functions of coral fluorescent proteins: an integrative study combining morphological, systems biology, and experimental biology approaches. (3) Factors affecting coral demography. We look at connectivity patterns and proximal mechanisms regulating larval settlement and survival. To address these questions, we make heavy use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, continuously developing original methods to maximize the benefits from rapidly evolving NGS possibilities.

Research Images:
Evolution of coral colors recreated
Evolution of coral colors recreated - Phylogenetic tree of the coral fluorescent proteins drawn on a Petri dish with bacterial cultures expressing resurrected ancestral proteins and present-day proteins (from Ugalde, Chang and Matz, Science 2004).
In vivo labeling using coral proteins
In vivo labeling using coral proteins - The first application of fluorescent proteins from reef organisms for dual-color in vivo labeling: tracing the progeny of left and right dorsal blastomeres in a developing tadpole (from Matz et al, Nature Biotechnol 1999). Left: white light; right: fluorescent optics.
Fluorescent great star coral
Fluorescent great star coral - Fluorescent photo of the cyan/green color morph of the great star coral (Montastrea cavernosa)
MATZ vs. GFP - Matz wrestling the secrets out of GFP structure at Friday Harbor Labs

2011 Voolstra, C. A., Sunagawa, S., Matz, M. V, Bayer, T., Aranda, M., Buschiazzo, E., DeSalvo, M. K., Lindquist, E., Szmant, A. M., Coffroth, M. A., and Medina, M. , Rapid evolution of coral proteins responsible for interaction with the environment. , PLoS ONE 6: e20392
2011 Kenkel, C. D., Traylor, M. R., Wiedenmann, J., Salih, A., and Matz, M. V. , Fluorescence of coral larvae predicts their settlement response to crustose coralline algae and reflects stress., Proc Roy Soc B 278: 2691-2697
2011 Meyer, E., Aglyamova, G. A., and Matz, M. V. , Profiling gene expression responses of coral larvae (Acropora millepora) to elevated temperature and settlement inducers using a novel RNA-Seq procedure. , Mol Ecol 20: 3599-3616
2010 Chudakov, D. M., Matz, M. V., Lukyanov, S. A., and Lukyanov, K. A. , Fluorescent proteins and their applications in imaging of living cells and tissues., Physiol Reviews 90: 1103-1163
2010 Field SF, Matz MV., Retracing evolution of red fluorescence in GFP-like proteins from Faviina corals., Mol Biol Evol 27: 225-233
2009 Wang, S., Zhang, L., Meyer, E. and Matz, M.V. , Construction of a high-resolution genetic linkage map and comparative genome analysis for a reef-building coral Acropora millepora. , Genome Biology 10: R126
2009 Meyer, E., S. Davies, S. Wang, B. L. Willis, D. Abrego, T. Juenger, and M. V. Matz, Genetic variation in responses to settlement cue and elevated temperature in a reef-building coral Acropora millepora., Mar Ecol Prog Ser 392: 81-92
2009 Meyer E, Aglyamova GV, Wang S, Buchanan-Carter J, Abrego D, Colbourne JK, Willis BL, Matz MV., Sequencing and de novo analysis of a coral larval transcriptome using 454 GSFlx, BMC Genomics 12: 219
2008 Matz MV, Frank TM, Marshall NJ, Widder EA, Johnsen S., Giant deep-sea protist produces bilaterian-like traces., Current Biology 18: 1849-1854
2008 Alieva NO, Konzen KA, Field SF, Meleshkevitch EA, Hunt ME, Beltran-Ramirez V, Miller DJ, Wiedenmann J, Salih A, Matz MV., Diversity and evolution of coral fluorescent proteins., PLoS ONE 16: e2680
2006 Nielsen, R. and Matz, M. V. , Statistical approaches for DNA barcoding, Syst. Biol. 55: 162-169
2006 Field, S. F., Bulina, M. Y., Kelmanson, I. V., Bielawski J. P. and Matz, M. V., Adaptive evolution of multi-colored fluorescent proteins in reef-building corals, J. Mol. Evol. 62: 332-339
2004 Shagin, D. A., Barsova, E. V., Yanushevich, Y. G., Fradkov, A. F., Lukyanov, K. A., Labas, Y. A., Ugalde, J. A., Meyers, A., Nunez, J. M., Widder, E. A., Lukyanov, S. A., Matz, M. V., GFP-like proteins as ubiquitous Metazoan superfamily: evolution of functional features and structural complexity, Mol Biol Evol. 21: 841-850
2004 Ugalde, J. A., Chang, B. S. W. and Matz, M. V. , Evolution of coral pigments recreated, Science 305: 1433