2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Determining the Cause of the tbcd-1 (RNAi) Phenotype in Embryonic C. elegans Epidermal Tissue 


Maggie J. White* and Dakota Hall
Dr. Stephanie L. Maiden, Faculty Mentor

Microtubules are linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease due to their essential roles in cell division, transportation, and structure. Microtubule formation and function are regulated by various microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). This study focuses on determining the effects of a specific MAP, TBCD-1, on microtubules within embryonic epidermal cells of Caenorhabditis elegans. Knockdown of tbcd-1 via RNA interference results in elongation defects similar to the disruption of cell adhesion proteins that are critical for epidermal formation and morphogenesis. A subset of embryos exhibited a cell extrusion phenotype related to defects in ventral enclosure. Based on these findings, microtubules potentially interact with cell adhesion proteins on a mechanical level.  To study this relationship, tbcd-1 knockdown was executed in C. elegans that express fluorescently-tagged adhesion proteins. Subsequent GFP and DIC microscopy were used to visualize the resulting changes to the adhesion proteins’ localization, expression, and overall embryo development.

Keywords: Cell Biology, Developmental , Molecular, microtubules, C. elegans, RNA Interference, GFP, cell adhesion proteins

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 106-5
Location: MG 1000
Time: 9:30

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