OCARD welcomes two new scholars

Two research scholars, Dr. Rafidah Binti Othman and Mr. Dingkun Xie (pictured right) recently joined the Ohio Center for Aquaculture and Development (OCARD) for their post-doctoral and PhD dissertation research. 

Rafidah Othman is a new visiting postdoctoral researcher at Dr. Hanping Wang’s Lab inside OSU South Centers. Originally from Malaysia, she is a lecturer and researcher from the Borneo Marine Research Institute a the Universiti Malaysia Sabah. She earned her PhD in Veterinary Sciences from the Universiti Putra Malaysia. 

Her research has been focused on health and disease management in aquaculture and other animals. Currently under the mentorship of Dr. Wang, her research involves the effect of stress on sex determination and sex differentiation in fish. She will explore details of the mechanisms involved in stress response due to high stocking density and chemical stressors in sex determination and sex differentiation during a critical period of early development. 

The findings from this study is important to gain insight into the potential development of new or better techniques for enhancing breeding strategies and sexual manipulation in aquaculture, and in producing monosex fish (either all-female or all-male) for a more sustainable aquaculture production.

Mr. Dingkun Xie, a PhD student, is from Nanchang University in China. He is working on his dissertation in Dr. Wang’s laboratory, focusing on the sex control and the sex differentiation in aquaculture species with marker screening and sex gene interference.

The markers are the specific sequences, and are different between male and the female fish. Because sex specific markers and SNPs can be used in the rapid sex identification for sex control and selective breeding in fish, these markers have high application value in aquaculture. Besides, as we know, overexpression and interference are the usual ways to regulate the gene expression. In sex regulation, hormones are often used to regulate the sex of fish in order to reach the goal of artificial sex-control for aquaculture.

Through this research, we can better understand how some sex control genes play roles in gender regulation with siRNA and miRNA interference.