The Role of FBF in Oocyte Maturation in Rhabditis sp. SB347

A fundamental question in biology is how unspecialized stem cells develop into specific and specialized cell types. To address this question, we will investigate the potential role of FBF protein in the nematode species Rhabditis sp. SB347 based on the current understanding of FBF function in C. elegans. In the best studied nematode, C. elegans, FBF down-regulates germline stem cell differentiation by inhibiting translation of mRNAs that promote cell differentiation. Previous studies have shown that in hermaphrodite C. elegans, sperm must be present for oocytes to reach maturation. Based on this C. elegans model, we hypothesize that in SB347, FBF also plays a role in oocyte maturation and that this transition may depend on the presence of sperm. If FBF depends on the presence of sperm, then we predict that FBF will be present in the -1 oocyte in mated female germlines and absent in unmated female germlines. Ultimately, this project will provide more insights in the potential role that FBF plays in oocyte maturation in SB347.