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Rémy Bruggmann
Interfaculty Bioinformatics Unit (IBU)
University of Bern
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What do we do?

At the Interfaculty Bioinformatics Unit of the University of Bern (IBU) we provide services and expertise to assist researchers of the three "Life-Science" Faculties (i.e. Sciences, Medicine, and VetSuisse) in data analysis and project planning for large-scale experiments (e.g. next generation sequencing, genome assembly). Furthermore, we have our own research programme and collaborate on large and complex projects. We develop methods to analyze high-throughput data. We have a high-performance compute cluster and a data storage system that we use for our own research, collaborations and service projects.

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Highlights 2016

In 2016, we participated in several whole genome sequencing projects. In one project (published in Nature Plants), we sequenced the two parental wild species of Petunia hybridae (i.e. P. axilaris and P. inflata), a popular bedding plant with a long history as a genetic model system. The factors responsible for the shift from bee to moth pollination reside in very dynamic regions of the genome which may have been essential to the diversity of floral colour patterns and pollination systems.
Another important project (published in Nature Communications) is about the gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) of Drosophila larvae and included the generation and analysis of low input amount RNA-seq data. Interestingly, GRNs employ a remarkably different mode of gustatory information coding. We identified a multimodal GRN that responds to chemicals of different taste modalities with opposing valence. This multimodal neuron is essential for bitter compound avoidance, and its artificial activation is sufficient to mediate aversion. Our findings support a model for taste coding in larvae, in which distinct receptor proteins mediate different responses within the same multimodal GRN.

Main publications 2016

  • Bombarely et al. Insight into the evolution of the Solanaceae from the parental genomes of Petunia hybrida. Nature Plants, 2016 2(6), 16074.
  • van Giesen, et al. Multimodal stimulus coding by a gustatory sensory neuron in Drosophila larvae. Nature Communications, 2016 7, 10687.
  • Miclaus, et al. Maize Cytolines Unmask Key nuclear genes that are under the control of retrograde signaling pathways in plants. Genome Biology and Evolution, 2016 8(11), 3256–3270
  • Schlegel, et al. Globally distributed root endophyte Phialocephala subalpina links pathogenic and saprophytic lifestyles. BMC Genomics, 2016 17(1)

Our research topics: