People Detail

Faculty Biography For:

Dan Wells
Ph.D., Indiana University, 1983

Biology and Biochemistry Department
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-5001

Office: SR2 421D
Phone: (713) 743-2671

Human Genetics
A long term interest of mine is the molecular and genetic characterization of a series of human syndromes characterized by defects in proper cartilage and bone development. These include Langer-Giedion Syndrome, Tricho-rhino-phalangeal Syndrome and Hereditary Multiple Exostoses. Mouse and frog model systems, have been used for functional of the genes involved in these syndromes.

Vertebrate Genetics and Regeneration
A current major effort in my lab is the development of the frog Xenopus tropicalis as genetic system. X. tropicalis is a sister species of Xenopus laevis, and is designed to serve a model amphibian species for genetic analysis. A high resolution genetic map is currently being developed and plans are also underway to use Xenopus as a model system for the molecular analysis of limb regeneration.

Vertebrate evolution
Among my other interests is the characterization of the direct developing Texas Chirping frog, Eleuthrodactylis cystignathoides campi. Unlike the eggs of most frogs which develop into swimming tadpoles prior to metamorphosis in to adult terrestrial frogs, the eggs of this species develops directly into miniature terrestrial adult frogs. The unusual developmental pattern is being studied both at the cellular and evolutionary levels. Possible speciation events resulting from changes in vocalization patterns is also under investigation

D. E. Wells, L. Gutierrez, Z. Xu, V. Krylov, J. Macha, K. P. Blankenburg, M Hitchens, La Bellot, M. Spivey, A. Kowis, Y. Ye, S. Pasternak, J. Owen, T Tran, R. Slavikova, L. Tumova, T. Tlapakova, E. Seifertova, S. E. Scherer, and A. K. Sater. A Genetic Map of Xenopus tropicalis. Developmental Biology 354(1):1-8.

B. M. Zak, M. Schuksz, E. Koyama, C. Mundy, D. E. Wells, Y. Yamaguchi, M. Pacifici, and J. D. Esko (2011) Compound heterozygous loss of Ext1 and Ext2 is sufficient for formation of multiple exostoses in mouse ribs and long bones. Bone 48:979-987.

U. Hellsten, R. M. Harland, M. J. Gilchrist, D. Hendrix, J. Jurka, V. Kapitonov, I. Ovcharenko, N. H. Putnam, S. Shu, L. Taher, I. Blitz, B. Blumberg, D. Dichmann, I. Dubchak, R. Fletcher, D. Gerhard, D. Goodstein, T. Graves, I. Grigoriev, J. Grimwood, T. Kawashima, E. Lindquist, P. Mead, T. Mitros, Y. Ota, A. Poliakov, N. Pollet, J. Robert, A. Salamov, A. Sater, J. Schmutz, A. Terry, P. Vize, W. Warren, D. E. Wells, A. Wills, L. Zimmerman, R. Grainger, T. Grammer, M. Khokha, P. M. Richardson, and D. S. Rokhsar. (2010) The genome of the western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis. Science 328: 633.

D. A. Yergeau, C. M. Kelley, E. Kuliyev, A. K. Sater, D. E. Wells and P. E. Mead, (2010) Remobilization of Tol2 transposons in Xenopus tropicalis. BCM Developmental Biology 10:11.

A. Abu-Daya, A. K. Sater, D. E. Wells, T. J. Mohun, L. B. Zimmerman. (2009) Absence of heartbeat in the Xenopus tropicalis mutation muzak is caused by a nonsense mutation in cardiac myosin myh6. Developmental Biology 336:20-29.

M. K. Khokha, V. Krylov, M. J. Reilly, J. Gall, D. Bhattarachaya, J. Cheung, S. Kaufmann, D. Lam, J. Macha, C. Ngo, P Schmidt, T. Tlapakova, T. Trivedi, L. Tumova, A. Abu-Daya, T. Geach, E. Vendrell, H. Ironfield, A. Sater, D. Wells, R. M. Harland, L. B. Zimmerman. 2009, Rapid Gynogenetic Mapping of Xenopus tropicalis Mutations to Chromosomes. Dev Dynamics 238:1398-1346.

Z. Xu, L. Gutierrez, M. Hutchins, S. Scherer, A. Sater, and D. E. Wells, (2008) Distribution of Polymorphic and Non-Polymorphic Microsatellite Repeats in Xenopus tropicalis. Bioinf Biol Insights 2: 157169.

Y. Tan, J. DeBruyne, G. M. Cahill and D. E. Wells (2008) Identification of a Mutation in the Clock1Gene Affecting Zebrafish Circadian Rhythms. J. Neurogenetics, 22: 118.

DeBruyne J, Hurd MW, GutiƩrrez L, Kaneko M, Tan Y, Wells DE, Cahill GM. (2004). Isolation and phenogenetics of a novel circadian rhythm mutant in zebrafish. Journal of Neurogenetics, 18(2):403-28.