My summer project is a continuation of my work on C. elegans nematodes from last year, it is regarding a gene involved in cell cycle regulation.
At the beginning of my research I had looked up literature about the ortholog of my gene of interest in humans and it pointed to a dysregulation in cell division and ultimately, “mitotic arrest”.
When I ran the first RNAi experiments in which I would essentially “delete” the production of this gene in C. elegans’ embryos, the nematodes would produce eggs but the eggs would not hatch.
I then imaged the eggs, this showed that the eggs were being fertilized and actively dividing but they were not hatching. I also imaged the effects on the embryos of C. elegans that contained a fluorescent histone marker (histones are located on the DNA of every cell in the embryo), this allowed us to see some differences in the DNA between the embryos with a deleted gene and the wild-type embryos.
This summer I am using three different strains of Green Fluorescent Protein-tagged nematodes that display fluorescence in different areas of the embryo that will allow me to identify any other differences in embryo development, I will use this information to be able to better identify the characteristics and the role of this gene in cell division of C. elegans embryo.
We will be using RNAi extensively, we will also use Green Fluorescent Protein-tagged C. elegans and fluorescent microscopy to be able to image the embryos.