C. Elegans Research: Update #2

(Originally written 6/11/18)

            I have finished the wet lab portion of my project, and I learned so much while working on campus!

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C. Elegans Research: Update #1

(originally written 5/29/18)

            In my project, I will be studying spe-26 mutant C. elegans, in order to gain insights into the function of the SPE-26 protein. If this sounds like jargon to you, don’t worry; I’ll explain!

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Characterizing chromosome missegregation in spe-26 mutant Caenorhabditis elegans

Meiosis is a type of specialized cell division, in which sperm and egg cells are formed. It is important to study and understand meiosis because when it goes wrong, it can result in infertility and other problems with sex cells. A useful way to study meiosis is in Caenorhabditis elegans, a 1-millimeter long nematode worm with transparent skin, because sex cell division is easy to analyze with microscopy. In my project, I will be visualizing defects in meiotic chromosome segregation in mutant C. elegans worms, which has a broader application to human sperm development. Given that infertility affects up to ten-percent of couples worldwide, largely due to problems with male sperm formation, studying meiosis in a model organism is important for understanding why and how infertility occurs in humans.

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The Most Proximal Oocyte and Future Directions

This summer, we have performed a comparative analysis of oocyte maturation in the nematode species C. elegans and R. sp. SB347. These studies have allowed us to gain insights on how this process differs between the two species. Specifically, this summer, we studied what role the protein FBF plays in oocyte maturation. We observed different patterns of FBF antibody staining within the gonad (see my previous post) and in the most proximal oocytes of the related nematode, R. sp. SB347, confirming results from previous studies (Lin et al. unpublished studies).

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