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Think and Do The Extraordinary
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Ph.D., North Carolina State University (2008)

Research Interests

Reproductive Physiology and Aquaculture of Fishes

Egg Quality

We aim to understand the fundamentals of oogenesis and egg quality in fishes. Poor egg quality is a major problem in finfish aquaculture that has remained intractable and causally unknown despite decades of research. We apply recent advances in functional genomics to address widespread female reproductive failure in fisheries and on commercial fish farms and to provide solutions to this problem.

Egg Yolk Formation

Developing offspring of oviparous animals are entirely dependent on stored egg yolk for nutritional sustenance. The nutrients stored in the ovulated egg must be sufficient to sustain the development of progeny from the time of fertilization to the onset of exogenous feeding. Vitellogenesis is the process whereby the required yolk nutrients are deposited into growing oocytes, which eventually give rise to eggs. These nutrients consist of maternally derived substances, including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and minerals that are collectively transported from the liver to the ovary in the form of circulating yolk precursors called vitellogenins. We characterize this complex and fundamental process to better understand oogenesis and egg quality in commercially important fish species.

Genomic Enablement

The goal of the National Program for Genetic Improvement and Selective Breeding for the Hybrid Striped Bass Industry is domestication and selective breeding to produce superior hybrid striped bass that will enable commercial producers not only to continue bringing fish to market, but also to decrease product prices and expand the industry. We are currently sequencing the striped bass and white bass genomes to further this effort.

Web Resources

Selected Publications

Reading, B.J., Hiramatsu, N., Molloy, K.T., Williams, V.N., Schilling, J., Baltzegar, D.A., Glassbrook, N., Mizuta, H., Luo, W., Hara, A., and Sullivan, C.V. 2014. Lrp13 is a novel vertebrate lipoprotein receptor that binds vitellogenins in teleost fishes. Journal of Lipid Research 55(11):2287-2295.

Williams, V.N., Reading, B.J., Amano, H., Hiramatsu, N., Schilling, J., Williams, T.I., Gross, K., and Sullivan, C.V. 2014. Proportional accumulation of yolk proteins derived from multiple vitellogenins is precisely regulated during vitellogenesis in striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A 321(6):301-315. (Research Article Highlighted on the Journal Cover).

Schilling, J., Nepomuceno, A., Muddiman, D.C., Schaff, J.E., Daniels, H.V., and Reading, B.J. 2014. Compartment proteomics analysis of white perch (Morone americana) ovary using support vector machines. Journal of Proteome Research 13(3):1515-1526.

Williams, V.N., Reading, B.J., Hiramatsu, N., Amano, H., Glassbrook, N., Islam Williams, T., and Sullivan, C.V. 2014. Multiple vitellogenins and product yolk proteins in striped bass, Morone saxatilis: molecular characterization and processing during oocyte growth and maturation. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry 40(2):395-415.

Baltzegar, D.A., Reading, B.J., Douros, J.D., and Borski, R.J. 2014. Role for leptin in promoting glucose mobilization during acute hyperosmotic stress in teleost fishes. Journal of Endocrinology 220(1):61-72.

Baltzegar, D.A., Reading, B.J., Brune, E.S., and Borski, R.J. 2013. Phylogenetic revision of the claudin gene family. Marine Genomics 11:17-26.

Mizuta, H., Luo, W., Ito, Y., Mushiroba, Y., Todo, T., Hara, A., Reading, B.J., Sullivan, C.V., and Hiramatsu, N. 2013. Ovarian expression and localization of vitellogenin receptor with eight ligand binding repeats in the cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B 166(1):81-90.

Luo, W., Ito, Y., Mizuta, H., Massaki, K., Hiramatsu, N., Todo, T., Reading, B.J., Sullivan, C.V., and Hara, A. 2013. Molecular cloning and partial characterization of an ovarian receptor with seven ligand binding repeats, an orthologue of low-density lipoprotein receptor, in the cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A 166:263-271.

Reading, B.J., Williams, V.N., Chapman, R.W., Islam Williams, T., and Sullivan, C.V. 2013. Dynamics of the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) ovary proteome reveal a complex network of the translasome. Journal of Proteome Research 12:1691-1699.

Hiramatsu, N., Luo, W., Reading, B.J., Sullivan, C.V., Mizuta, H., Ryu, Y.-W., Nishimiya, O., Todo, T., and Hara, A. 2013. Multiple ovarian lipoprotein receptors in teleosts. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry 39(1):29-32.

Reading, B.J., Chapman, R.W., Schaff, J.E., Scholl, E.H., Opperman, C.H., and Sullivan, C.V. 2012. An ovary transcriptome for all maturational stages of the striped bass (Morone saxatilis), a highly advanced perciform fish. BMC Research Notes 5:111.

Reading, B.J. and Sullivan, C.V. 2011. Chapter 257: Vitellogenesis in Fishes. In Encyclopedia of Fish Physiology: From Genome to Environment. A.P. Ferrell (Ed.). Elsevier, Maryland Heights, Missouri. 2272 pp.

Reading, B.J., Hiramatsu, N., and Sullivan, C.V. 2011. Disparate binding of three types of vitellogenin to multiple forms of vitellogenin receptor in white perch. Biology of Reproduction 84:392-399.

Salger, S.A., Reading, B.J., Baltzegar, D.A., Sullivan C.V., and Noga, E.J. 2011. Molecular characterization of two isoforms of piscidin 4 from the hybrid striped bass (Morone chrysops x M. saxatilis). Fish and Shellfish Immunology 30:420-424.

Reading, B.J., Hiramatsu, N., Sawaguchi, S., Matsubara, T., Hara, A., Lively, M.O., and Sullivan, C.V. 2009. Conserved and variant molecular and functional features of multiple egg yolk precursor proteins (vitellogenins) in white perch (Morone americana) and other teleosts. Marine Biotechnology 11:169-187.

Davis, L.K., Hiramatsu, N., Hiramatsu, K., Reading, B.J., Matsubara, T., Hara, A., Sullivan, C.V., Pierce, A.L., Hirano, T., and Grau, E.G. 2007. Induction of three vitellogenins by 17beta-estradiol with concurrent inhibition of the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor 1 axis in a euryhaline teleost, the tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Biology of Reproduction 77:614-625.

Reading, B.J., Wills, P.S., Heidinger, R.C., and Heist, E.J. 2003. Development of microsatellite markers for muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) and cross-species amplification in two other esocids. Molecular Ecology Notes 3(3):447-450.

Heist, E.J., Jenkot, J.L., Keeney, D.B., Lane, R.L., Moyer, G.R., Reading, B.J., and Smith, N.L. 2003. Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci in nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum). Molecular Ecology Notes 3(1):59-61.