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Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Gregg Jongeward

First Committee Member

Lisa Wrischnik

Second Committee Member

Craig Vierra

Abstract

While development in flies is well understood, pattem formation and the evolution thereof in arachnids have yet to be clarified. Flies and other metazoans primarily use two families of genes called Hox genes and Pax genes to regulate embryogenesis. Because of the high evolutionary conservation of Hox and Pax proteins, I hypothesize that arachnids also use this system to organize their body pattern. To enable studies of the Westem black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus, an embryonic eDNA library and a fixation protocol were developed for L. hesperus embryos. The generation of these tools will allow comprehensive analysis of black widow spider development and give insight into whether, and how, spiders use Hox and Pax genes to organize their bodies. Finally, it will provide a more thorough understanding of how different developmental mechanisms have evolved and ultimately how changes in gene expression can lead to a change in overall body plan.

Pages

70

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