Honors College Thesis

 

Development of sex-specific differences in Drosophila melanogaster neurons Public

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/4j03d151d

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  • Many diseases cause a heavier burden on women than on men; however, treatment guidelines are based largely on data on men (NCBI, 2012). It becomes obvious that certain differences in genetics between men and women account for specific sex-related diseases, but there is too spare research focus on that issue. Consequently, there is a rising concern about identifying biological and physiological differences between men and women to understand the significance of the difference for diagnosis and treatment. One way to approach this problem is to study divergent gene expression between males and females in the development of the brain. The project “The development of sex-specific differences in Drosophila melanogaster neurons” was conducted to find how sexual differences in gene expression between males and females affect the development of a small cohort of neurons, using D. melanogaster as a model. Two genes dsx and Dl were investigated in this study because it was previously shown that these genes participated in sex determination and/or neural production (Baker et al., 1988; Burtis et al., 1989; Artavanis - Tsakonas et al., 1999). The time course of expression used in the lab provided testable models for how dsx and Dl expression might be regulated. Using immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques to visualize gene expression, as well as an EdU labeling method to detect cell division, sex-specific distinction in dsx and Dl expression in second and third larvae was found between male and female in four abdominal neuroblast lineages. It was discovered that the expression of dsx and Dl persistent in males and transient in females. The result obtained from this project is critical to explore a potential dynamic relationship between dsx and Dl that has not yet been discovered, which in turn can be used to acquire understanding how sex regulation genes work inside a brain to create the differences in male and female.
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  • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) summer internship, the UndergraduateResearch Innovation Scholarship and Creativity (URISC) scholarship, the University HonorsCollge (UHC) experience scholarship and the National Institute of Health (NIH) grant from theTaylor’s lab, supported HTD’s research. This publication was made possible in part by grant number 1S10RR107903-01 from the National Institutes of Health for the purchase of the Zeiss LSM510 confocal microscope.
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