Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Biology

Degree Name

Master of Science

Thesis Advisor

Kathryn Kohl

Committee Member

Matthew Stern

Committee Member

Daniel Stovall

Abstract

The information contained within DNA is vital to directing all biological processes. All organisms have repair mechanisms in place to repair DNA damage quickly and efficiently. Without these repair pathways, DNA can acquire harmful mutations that can compromise the survival of an organism. Studies of DNA repair in Drosophila melanogaster have focused on mutagen sensitive (mus) mutants, each of which contain a mutation that renders them incapable of performing DNA repair. Since a majority of these mus genes are unmapped, the goal of this project was to determine what genes in the Drosophila melanogaster genome are mus106 and mus108. Presence of each mutation was confirmed by conducting mutagen sensitivity assays on homozygous crosses. It was determined that the mus106 mutation is no longer present in its corresponding stock, but that the mus108 mutation is still present in its stock. After analyzing publically available genome data, we suggest potential candidate genes for mus106 and mus108 to be DNA Ligase 4 and XRCC1, respectively. Since XRCC1 has not been previously studied in Drosophila melanogaster, there are no known alleles of this gene. However, we conducted additional mutagen sensitivity tests on a transposon and an RNAi stock designed to target reduction of XRCC1. The results from these experiments are inconclusive until XRCC1 knockdown is confirmed. Further characterization of mus108 to other mutagens is in progress to better understand what DNA repair pathway MUS108 is involved in. This work can help researchers learn more about DNA repair pathways and fill in gaps of knowledge on gene function in D. melanogaster.

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