Blog # 2: RNAi Experimentation on T20B12.7 C. elegans’ Gene

It is now the end of the fall semester and my research group has performed several RNAi experiments on four genes. About half have yielded positive results. My gene (T20B12.7) did not yield any positive results. When the experiment was performed, the data for my gene came out similar to the L440 gene results. The L440 and npp-19 genes both came out positive. The L440 had normal reproduction as expected, which was shown by a lot of worms on the plate with little to no eggs on the plate. The npp-19 had interrupted reproduction, shown by increased amounts of unhatched eggs and little to no hatched worms. Since no difference in reproduction was seen in my gene we evaluated our experimental design. We decided that the lack of results could be for a few reasons. The bacteria could have needed more time to grow. The worms could have needed a different temperature to grow. Starting up next semester we will change both factors and see if we can yield positive results for my gene. If the RNAi results remain the same for my gene, then we will start to question when my gene is active during reproduction and development. There are other experiments that could be performed to test reproduction stages.
We also considered a project called the Million Mutation Project. C. elegans were exposed to a mutagen resulting in several thousand mutations. We ordered the strains of worms that had our genes mutated. However, the strains did not come until this last week so we will begin our experiments with these worms at the beginning of the spring semester. Since these worms have mutations beyond just our genes of interest it will allow us to see possible connections with other genes and effects to our gene of interest. We will also begin experiments with microscopy, which will give us a closer look at the reproduction process of the worms and the eggs.

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