2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Identifying Mechanisms Involved in Neuronal Hyperactivity in Drosophila


Tiffany Ou*, Miles H. Thies, Victoria B. Borchardt , Meghan N. Venus, and Nick M. Pritchett
Dr. Brett A. Berke, Faculty Mentor

Worldwide, 50 million individuals suffer from seizures, which are uncontrolled waves of neuronal activity that propagate throughout the brain. Past research has identified many molecular mechanisms that control seizure activity, but the data still indicate the presence of undiscovered mechanisms. Here, we use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model to determine additional molecular mechanisms of neuronal hyperactivity. A gain-of-function screen is being used to overexpress selected genes and examine their role in neuronal hyperactivity. Four phenotypic tests are being used to measure neuronal hyperactivity: larval neuromuscular synaptic size, larval crawling, susceptibility to oxidative stress, and anesthesia-induced adult leg shaking. We have been overexpressing Galla-1 in the nervous system, which has a role in chromosomal segregation. Overexpression of Galla-1 may produce a larval crawling phenotype similar to hyperactive mutants and we are currently testing how overexpression affects leg shaking and oxidative stress.

Keywords: Seizures, Animal Behavior, Drosophila melanogaster

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 105-1
Location: MG 2001
Time: 8:00

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