Discipline: Biological Sciences
Kevin Swanson - Harris-Stowe State University
The Drosophila T-box transcription factor midline (mid) functions within the Notch-Delta signaling pathway to specify sensory organ precursor (SOP) cell fates and regulate cell survival within the eye imaginal disc of third-instar larvae (Das et al., 2013; Chen et al., 2015). We now hypothesize that mid patterns the developing eye by regulating morphogenic gradients. We are using genetic and immunolabeling approaches to examine the expression level and pattern of specific morphogens in developing wild-type, mid loss-of-function (LOF) and mid-gain-of-function (GOF) eye imaginal discs. Several of these morphogens are known to be indirectly affected by the Notch-Delta signaling pathway and include Wingless, Decapentaplegic, and Hedgehog. This work serves as a foundation toward understanding the vital role mid plays in establishing the coordinate positions of SOP cells that give rise to the precise geometrical pattern of the bristle complex in the adult compound eye.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research is funded by an NSF Research Initiation Grant as part of an HBCU-UP initiative
Faculty Advisor: Sandra Leal, email@example.com
Role: Since early this year, I have been conducting literature searches, dissections, immunolabeling, mounting, breeding, and data collection.