Joined the Department in 1997
- B.Sc., 1982, University of Brasilia (Brasilia, Brazil), Molecular Biology
- M.Sc., 1986, University of Brasilia (Brasilia, Brazil), Molecular Biology
- Ph.D., 1992, University of Georgia, Genetics
- Postdoctoral research, University of Wisconsin, Stanford University, Meiotic silencing.
Dr. Rodolfo Aramayo joined the Department of Biology at Texas A&M University in 1997 and was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2004. He obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Georgia. His postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Robert L. Metzenberg at the University of Wisconsin and at Stanford University focused on studying the ascus-dominant behavior of a gene coding for a transcription factor. These studies resulted in the discovery of a novel meiotic silencing behavior dubbed Meiotic Silencing. Dr. Aramayo is a member of the Faculty of Genetics, the Program for the Biology of Filamentous Fungi (PBoFF), Graduate Faculty of the Health Science Center and Whole Systems Genomics Computational Advisory Group. He is a member of Aggie Research Scholars and Faculty Honors Program. He developed a course called “Genomics” in 1999, which he teaches at both undergraduate and graduate levels. He also developed a new graduate course called “Digital Biology” in 2013. He is responsible for the Campus-wide training in Genomics and Computational Biology and his team deployed “Galaxy,” a web-based interface to Computational Genomics software, both in the Department of Biology and the TAMU Supercomputer “Ada.”
Genetics, Epigenetics and Meiotic RNA Silencing
Dr. Aramayo’s laboratory is centered on understanding the function(s) of RNAs, especially non-coding RNAs in all aspects of Biology. While the initial work was based on studying Meiotic Silencing in Neurospora, it became immediately clear that the RNA silencing mechanism invoked by this very unusual genetic phenomenon had been adapted and evolved to fulfill key highly-related roles in all eukaryotic cells. The complexity of the problem demanded the use of the most sophisticated molecular tools, especially Next Generation DNA Sequencing and the manipulation of the emerging information. In the process of mastering these computational tools and techniques, the Aramayo lab branched into studying the Computational Genomics aspect of these problems. The expertise thus generated could clearly be applied to all organisms and/or other systems. The Aramayo laboratory thus established active collaborations with researchers studying the biology of RNAs in Neurobiology, Muscular Distrophy and Cell Cycle. The computational expertise of this laboratory has also generated an active collaboration with Materials Sciences. The wet-lab aspect of this laboratory is still centered on understanding Meiotic Silencing, one of the most amazing and intriguing mechanisms observed in meiotic cells of eukaryotic organisms. If a segment of DNA is not present on the opposite homologous chromosome in meiosis in Neurospora, the resulting “unpaired” DNA segment is targeted for silencing. This situation occurs when a DNA element gets inserted at a particular chromosomal position (e.g., a situation akin to the “invasion” of a genome by transposable DNA elements). It can also occur when a normal region gets deleted. In both situations, the resulting loop of “unpaired” DNA activates a genome-wide “alert” system that results in the silencing not only of the genes present in the “unpaired” DNA segment, but also of those same genes if present elsewhere in the genome, even if they are in the paired condition. Although meiotic silencing and was originally described in Neurospora crassa, it has since been observed in nematodes and mammals. In all these organisms, “unpaired or unsynapsed” regions (or chromosomes) are targeted for gene silencing. The working hypothesis is that meiotic silencing is a two-step process. First meiotic trans-sensing compares the chromosomes from each parent and identifies significant differences as unpaired DNA. Second, if unpaired DNA is identified, a process called meiotic silencing silences expression of genes within the unpaired region and regions sharing sequence identity. The lab is using a combination of genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry aimed at identifying all the molecular players of the process and at understanding how they work together. The long term objective of our work is to understand meiotic silencing in Neurospora and to map its connections with the meiotic silencing observed in other organisms.
- Mateos, M, Silva, NO, Ramirez, P, Higareda-Alvear, VM, Aramayo, R, Erickson, JW et al.. Effect of heritable symbionts on maternally-derived embryo transcripts. Sci Rep. 2019;9 (1):8847. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45371-0. PubMed PMID:31222094 PubMed Central PMC6586653.
- Stavrianakou, M, Perez, R, Wu, C, Sachs, MS, Aramayo, R, Harlow, M et al.. Draft de novo transcriptome assembly and proteome characterization of the electric lobe of Tetronarce californica: a molecular tool for the study of cholinergic neurotransmission in the electric organ. BMC Genomics. 2017;18 (1):611. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-3890-4. PubMed PMID:28806931 PubMed Central PMC5557070.
- Aramayo, R, Polymenis, M. Ribosome profiling the cell cycle: lessons and challenges. Curr. Genet. 2017;63 (6):959-964. doi: 10.1007/s00294-017-0698-3. PubMed PMID:28451847 PubMed Central PMC5790165.
- Li, H, Wu, C, Aramayo, R, Sachs, MS, Harlow, ML. Synaptic vesicles isolated from the electric organ of Torpedo californica and from the central nervous system of Mus musculus contain small ribonucleic acids (sRNAs). Genom Data. 2017;12 :52-53. doi: 10.1016/j.gdata.2017.02.015. PubMed PMID:28367405 PubMed Central PMC5361766.
- Blank, HM, Perez, R, He, C, Maitra, N, Metz, R, Hill, J et al.. Translational control of lipogenic enzymes in the cell cycle of synchronous, growing yeast cells. EMBO J. 2017;36 (4):487-502. doi: 10.15252/embj.201695050. PubMed PMID:28057705 PubMed Central PMC5694946.
- Clanton, RM, Wu, G, Akabani, G, Aramayo, R. Control of seizures by ketogenic diet-induced modulation of metabolic pathways. Amino Acids. 2017;49 (1):1-20. doi: 10.1007/s00726-016-2336-7. PubMed PMID:27683025 .
- Li, H, Wu, C, Aramayo, R, Sachs, MS, Harlow, ML. Synaptic vesicles contain small ribonucleic acids (sRNAs) including transfer RNA fragments (trfRNA) and microRNAs (miRNA). Sci Rep. 2015;5 :14918. doi: 10.1038/srep14918. PubMed PMID:26446566 PubMed Central PMC4597359.
- Polymenis, M, Aramayo, R. Translate to divide: сontrol of the cell cycle by protein synthesis. Microb Cell. 2015;2 (4):94-104. doi: 10.15698/mic2015.04.198. PubMed PMID:28357283 PubMed Central PMC5348972.
- Aramayo, R, Selker, EU. Neurospora crassa, a model system for epigenetics research. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2013;5 (10):a017921. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a017921. PubMed PMID:24086046 PubMed Central PMC3783048.
- Lee, DW, Millimaki, R, Aramayo, R. QIP, a component of the vegetative RNA silencing pathway, is essential for meiosis and suppresses meiotic silencing in Neurospora crassa. Genetics. 2010;186 (1):127-33. doi: 10.1534/genetics.110.118422. PubMed PMID:20592262 PubMed Central PMC2940281.