Project Title

Does ngn-1 regulate the expression of daf-18 in the context of AIY axonal outgrowth?

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Martin Hudson

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The transmission of nerve impulses along an axon, along with the integration of these signals via the central nervous system makes activities as simple as standing up or as complicated as taking a test possible. What are the genetic factors that control whether a cell becomes a neuron versus any other cell type? In addition, what controls how a neuron extends axons and dendrites so that it can make a synapse and communicate with other neurons? To gather an idea on how molecular biology plays a role in the genetic expression of neuronal developmental factors, we are studying the transcription factor ngn-1, which encodes neurogenin, a protein predicted to be required for neuronal development in the C. elegans nematode. C. elegans is a useful model for this research as they are easy to grow, have a short generation time of three days, a fully sequenced genome, and a sophisticated array of genetic tools with which to probe gene function. We hypothesize that ngn-1 regulates daf-18 to control the correct axon outgrowth of AIY interneurons. We have created single mutant strains for daf-18 and ngn-1, as well as a daf-18; ngn-1 double mutant. All three strains contain the GFP reporter gene mgIs18, which allows us to visualize the AIY interneurons in the head region of C. elegans. If ngn-1 regulates, daf-18, then the ngn-1; daf-18 double mutant should not be any different from either single mutant. However, if these genes function in parallel non-redundant pathways, then the double mutant should be worse that either single mutant alone.

Project Type

Poster

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Does ngn-1 regulate the expression of daf-18 in the context of AIY axonal outgrowth?

The transmission of nerve impulses along an axon, along with the integration of these signals via the central nervous system makes activities as simple as standing up or as complicated as taking a test possible. What are the genetic factors that control whether a cell becomes a neuron versus any other cell type? In addition, what controls how a neuron extends axons and dendrites so that it can make a synapse and communicate with other neurons? To gather an idea on how molecular biology plays a role in the genetic expression of neuronal developmental factors, we are studying the transcription factor ngn-1, which encodes neurogenin, a protein predicted to be required for neuronal development in the C. elegans nematode. C. elegans is a useful model for this research as they are easy to grow, have a short generation time of three days, a fully sequenced genome, and a sophisticated array of genetic tools with which to probe gene function. We hypothesize that ngn-1 regulates daf-18 to control the correct axon outgrowth of AIY interneurons. We have created single mutant strains for daf-18 and ngn-1, as well as a daf-18; ngn-1 double mutant. All three strains contain the GFP reporter gene mgIs18, which allows us to visualize the AIY interneurons in the head region of C. elegans. If ngn-1 regulates, daf-18, then the ngn-1; daf-18 double mutant should not be any different from either single mutant. However, if these genes function in parallel non-redundant pathways, then the double mutant should be worse that either single mutant alone.