Clifton Warren Ragsdale

The octopus is rich in evolutionary novelties, from an immense nervous system to prehensile arms to a tremendously sophisticated adaptive coloration system. It is the octopus's brain and behavior that has attracted the greatest study, but much of this research was done in the 20th century and limited by the techniques of the time. The major focus of the Ragsdale laboratory is to bring the modern advances in neuroscience, molecular cell biology and genetic manipulation to the study of cephalopod biology. Our first major step was into genomics and transcriptomics. In 2015, the Ragsdale laboratory, in collaboration with the Rokhsar group at UC-Berkeley, reported the genome of the Ragsdale lab's chosen model organism, Octopus bimaculoides. Current research includes comparative cephalopod genomics, octopus arm regeneration, the organization of the cephalopod nervous system, and the neuroendocrinology of octopus sex and death.



The other focus of the Ragsdale laboratory is the evolutionary developmental neurobiology of the neocortex.

Neuronal segmentation in cephalopod arms.
Neuronal segmentation in cephalopod arms. bioRxiv. 2024 Jun 01.
PMID: 38853825

Signaling Ligand Heterogeneities in the Peduncle Complex of the Cephalopod Mollusc Octopus bimaculoides.
Signaling Ligand Heterogeneities in the Peduncle Complex of the Cephalopod Mollusc Octopus bimaculoides. Brain Behav Evol. 2024 Apr 30; 1-13.
PMID: 38688255

Toward an Understanding of Octopus Arm Motor Control.
Toward an Understanding of Octopus Arm Motor Control. Integr Comp Biol. 2023 Dec 29; 63(6):1277-1284.
PMID: 37327080

Steroid hormones of the octopus self-destruct system.
Steroid hormones of the octopus self-destruct system. Curr Biol. 2022 06 06; 32(11):2572-2579.e4.
PMID: 35561680

Genome and transcriptome mechanisms driving cephalopod evolution.
Genome and transcriptome mechanisms driving cephalopod evolution. Nat Commun. 2022 05 04; 13(1):2427.
PMID: 35508532

The emergence of the brain non-CpG methylation system in vertebrates.
de Mendoza A, Poppe D, Buckberry S, Pflueger J, Albertin CB, Daish T, Bertrand S, de la Calle-Mustienes E, Gómez-Skarmeta JL, Nery JR, Ecker JR, Baer B, Ragsdale CW, Grützner F, Escriva H, Venkatesh B, Bogdanovic O, Lister R. The emergence of the brain non-CpG methylation system in vertebrates. Nat Ecol Evol. 2021 03; 5(3):369-378.
PMID: 33462491

Evolution of the Chordate Telencephalon.
Evolution of the Chordate Telencephalon. Curr Biol. 2019 07 08; 29(13):R647-R662.
PMID: 31287987

Homology, neocortex, and the evolution of developmental mechanisms.
Homology, neocortex, and the evolution of developmental mechanisms. Science. 2018 10 12; 362(6411):190-193.
PMID: 30309947

Multiple optic gland signaling pathways implicated in octopus maternal behaviors and death.
Wang ZY, Ragsdale CW. Multiple optic gland signaling pathways implicated in octopus maternal behaviors and death. J Exp Biol. 2018 10 08; 221(Pt 19).
PMID: 30104305

Molecular anatomy of the alligator dorsal telencephalon.
Molecular anatomy of the alligator dorsal telencephalon. J Comp Neurol. 2018 07 01; 526(10):1613-1646.
PMID: 29520780

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