Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
neuroscience, neurobiology, dragonflies, development, embryogenesis, gene expression, immunohistochemistry
A comprehensive understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying pattern formation and neurogenesis is necessary in order to trace the evolutionary history of insect embryogenesis.
One of the most important processes of embryogenesis is the organized pattern formation that allows for proper body segmentation and neural development. Proper segmentation, which relies on a series of specific gene expressions, is necessary for the development of an operational nervous system. Even-skipped (eve), one such regulatory gene, has been studied extensively in certain model organisms, and theories regarding the evolution of its functional role could be further elucidated by visualizing its expression in adult and larval dragonflies, which has yet to be accomplished. Through a protocol of immunofluorescence using antibodies raised against the even-skipped protein product (eve), this study aimed to visualize the localization of eve expression in both adult and larval dragonflies and thereby compare its expression throughout development. However, several methodological limitations were encountered, including a lack of published literature detailing a procedure for immunostaining in dragonflies and subsequent inability to properly permeate the target ganglia. Future research should attempt alternative methods of tissue permeation in order to successfully access the target neurons as well as explore alternative primary antibodies for use in targeting eve in tissue samples.
Bangser, Kathryn, "Investigation of even-skipped, a developmentally-regulated gene controlling neural segmentation in dragonflies" (2019). Honors Theses. 2267.