Presenter Information

Jenessa OlsonFollow

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Chromatin modifications are modifications of nuclear proteins called histones. Histones are important for the compaction of DNA. These chromatin modifications can result in activation or repression of transcription of the DNA, which is essential for the cell to synthesize proteins and pass on genetic information. Some chromatin modifications have been linked to fertility and specification of reproductive cells called germ cells. We are studying a chromatin modification that has not been previously identified in germ cells. The mechanism and enzyme involved in this reproductive cell chromatin modification is not well understood. My research has been focused on identifying the enzyme that regulates this modification. The hypothesis it that this modification will affect reproductive cells specification and fertility. I use C. elegans, a eukaryotic nematode, as the model organism. This nematode is optimal because it is easy and fast to culture, allowing for variant strains to be produced. C. elegans is also transparent, so specific cells can be tracked and cell lineages can be followed. We found a specific chromatin modification that is prominent in late embryo germ cells of the wild type C.elegans. I have been researching if mutant worm strains, some with fertility defects, still present the chromatin modification in germ cells. Currently, I have found that two out of four mutants have less of this modification present in their germ cells. Further studies are ongoing to observe any changes in this modification in other mutant worm strains. Since C. elegans shares similar biological regulation mechanisms as humans do, results from this study can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism in the development of germ cells in humans. The results can be applied to many biomedical implications by being able to manipulate these regulations for our benefit in development and disease.

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Life Sciences

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Apr 11th, 3:00 PM Apr 11th, 4:00 PM

The Role of Chromatin Modification in Germ Cell Specification and Development

Chromatin modifications are modifications of nuclear proteins called histones. Histones are important for the compaction of DNA. These chromatin modifications can result in activation or repression of transcription of the DNA, which is essential for the cell to synthesize proteins and pass on genetic information. Some chromatin modifications have been linked to fertility and specification of reproductive cells called germ cells. We are studying a chromatin modification that has not been previously identified in germ cells. The mechanism and enzyme involved in this reproductive cell chromatin modification is not well understood. My research has been focused on identifying the enzyme that regulates this modification. The hypothesis it that this modification will affect reproductive cells specification and fertility. I use C. elegans, a eukaryotic nematode, as the model organism. This nematode is optimal because it is easy and fast to culture, allowing for variant strains to be produced. C. elegans is also transparent, so specific cells can be tracked and cell lineages can be followed. We found a specific chromatin modification that is prominent in late embryo germ cells of the wild type C.elegans. I have been researching if mutant worm strains, some with fertility defects, still present the chromatin modification in germ cells. Currently, I have found that two out of four mutants have less of this modification present in their germ cells. Further studies are ongoing to observe any changes in this modification in other mutant worm strains. Since C. elegans shares similar biological regulation mechanisms as humans do, results from this study can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism in the development of germ cells in humans. The results can be applied to many biomedical implications by being able to manipulate these regulations for our benefit in development and disease.