Fish Physiology (BIO 4350V/5424C)
I’m a fish physiologist and endocrinologist. My research over the past ten years has focused on the fascinating world of pheromones and chemical communication in fish. My primary area of research at Texas State centers on olfactory processes in fish. Specially, I’m working to uncover how external chemical signals (pheromones, chemical cues, pollutants) are detected by the olfactory epithelia, how that information is integrated in the brain, and how it is translated into activation of the endocrine axis that initiates a specific physiological process (reproduction, behavior, etc). To achieve my goals, I use several techniques that I’ve refined, including electrophysiology, protein biochemistry (to investigate the morphology and physiology of elements of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gland axis), histology and molecular procedures. I chose my scientific specialization with the goal of advancing understanding of the vertebrate olfactory process and providing new tools for managing of fish populations.
Buchinger, T. J., K. Li, M. Huertas, C. F. Baker, J. Liang, M. C. Hayes, W. Li, and N. S Johnson (2016). Evidence for partial overlap of male olfactory cues in lampreys. Journal of Experimental Biology. In press.
Brant, C., M. Huertas, K. Li, and W. Li (2016). Mixtures of two bile alcohol sulfates function as a proximity pheromone in sea lamprey. PLOS ONE, 11, e0149508.
Smith, S. E., S. P. Sitar, F. W. Goetz, M. Huertas, C. Simchik, B. M. Armstrong, A. Bartholomew, K. Chopra and C. A. Murphy (2016). Differential physiological response to sea lamprey parasitism between lake trout morphotypes (Salvelinus namaycush) from Lake Superior. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 73: 1-15.
Bussy, U., M. Huertas, Y-W. Chung-Davidson, K. Li and W. Li (2016). Chemical derivatization of neurosteroids for trace determination in sea lamprey by LC-MS/MS. Talanta, 149: 326-334.
Churcher, A.M., J. M. Pujolar, M. Milan, M. Huertas, P. C. Hubbard, L. Bargelloni, T. Patarnello, I. AM. Marino, L. Zane and A.V.M. Canário (2015). Transcriptomic profiling of male European eel (Anguilla anguilla) livers at sexual maturity. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics, 16: 28-35.
Churcher, A.M., P.C. Hubbard , J. Marques, A.V.M. Canário, and M. Huertas. (2015). Deep sequencing of the olfactory epithelium reveals specific chemosensory receptors are expressed at sexual maturity in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Molecular Ecology, 24:822-834.
Li, K., M. Huertas, C.O. Brant, Y.-W. Chung-Davidson, U. Bussy, T.R. Hoye and W. Li. (2015). (+)- and (–)-Petromyroxols: Antipodal tetrahydrofurandiols from larval sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) that elicit enantioselective olfactory responses. Chemical Letters, 17:286-289
Bryan, M.B., Y.-W. Chung-Davidson, J. Ren, S. Bowman, A.P. Scott, M. Huertas, M.P. Connolly and W. Li. (2015). Evidence that progesterone plays an important role in spermiation and pheromone production in male sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 212:17-27.
Churcher, A.M., J. M. Pujolar, M. Milan, P. C. Hubbard, R. ST. Martins, J. L. Saraiva, M. Huertas, L. Bargelloni, T. Patarnello, I. AM. Marino, L. Zane and A.V.M. Canário. (2014). Changes in the gene expression profiles of the brains of male European eels (Anguilla anguilla) during sexual maturation. BMC Genomics, 15:799
Huertas, M., O.G. Almeida, A.V.M. Canario and P. C. Hubbard. (2014). Tilapia male urinary pheromone stimulates female reproductive axis. General and Comparative Endocrinology 196:106-111.
Li K., C.O. Brant, M. Huertas, S.K. Hur and W. Li (2013). Petromyzonin, a hexahydrophenanthrene sulfate isolated from the larval sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus L.). Organic Letters 15:5924-5927.
Chung-Davidson, Y.-W., M. Huertas and W. Li. (2011). A review of research in fish pheromones. In: Chemical communication in crustaceans (Breithaupt, T. and Thiel, M., eds.), pp. 467-482, Springer, New York.
Please see faculty member’s CV or website for additional information.