Prof. Dr. Ricardo Benavente
Ricardo Benavente studied medicine at the University of the Republic (Montevideo) and received his doctorate (Dr. med.) from the University of Heidelberg. He spent his postdoctoral time as an Alexander-von-Humboldt-Fellow at the Division of Cell Biology (Head: W.W. Franke) of the German Cancer Research Center (Heidelberg). Since 1987, Ricardo Benavente leads a research group at the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg. In 1990 he habilitated (Dr. rer. nat. habil.) at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Würzburg. Since 2001, he is member of the Latin-American Academy of Sciences. Currently, he is Extraordinary Professor and Academic Director in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg. … MORE
Research synopsis. Ricardo Benavente’s research interests deal with the functional organization of the cell nucleus, in particular in meiotic cells. He has been using different invertebrate and vertebrate model systems to investigate the structure, composition and dynamics of the nuclear envelope and meiotic chromosomes in both males and females. A major focus of interest has been the synaptonemal complex, an evolutionarily highly conserved chromosomal structure of meiotic cells that mediates synapsis of homologous chromosomes and is essential for proper recombination. These studies are performed with the aid of immunocytochemical, biochemical and electron microscopical techniques which are applied to wild-type and knockout mice lacking selected meiosis-specific nuclear proteins. Currently, Ricardo Benavente studies evolutionary aspects of meiosis by investigating the properties of structural synaptonemal complex protein components across metazoans.
Five important publications.
Benavente, R., G. Krohne & W.W. Franke: Cell type-specific expression of nuclear lamina proteins during development of Xenopus laevis. Cell 41:177-190 (1985).
Alsheimer, M., E. von Glasenapp, M. Schnölzer, H. Heid & R. Benavente: Meiotic lamin C2: The unique amino-terminal hexapeptide GNAEGR is essential for nuclear envelope association. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97:13120-13125 (2000).
Schramm, S., J. Fraune, R. Naumann, A. Hernandez-Hernandez, C. Höög, H.J. Cooke, M. Alsheimer & R. Benavente: A novel mouse synaptonemal complex protein is essential for loading of central element proteins, recombination and fertility. PLoS Genet. 7:e1002088 (2011).
Fraune, J., M. Alsheimer, J.N. Volff, K. Busch, S. Fraune, T.C.G. Bosch & R. Benavente: Hydra meiosis reveals unexpected conservation of structural synaptonemal complex proteins across metazoans. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109:16588-16593 (2012).
Schücker, K., T. Holm, C. Franke, M. Sauer & R. Benavente: Elucidation of synaptonemal complex structure by super-resolution imaging with isotropic resolution. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA doi: 10.1073/pnas.1414814112 (2015).