4th Week of Research

Good Afternoon Readers,

In my fourth week of research, I noticed an interesting progression of SUMO during the karyosome stage. One can see cells progressing from one stage to the next; for example, cells will be captured moving from the diplotene stage to the karyosome stage (i.e. the cells will exhibit increasing chromatin compaction). I observed a correlation between the chromatin becoming more compacted as it becomes the characteristic fully-compacted stage of karyosome with SUMO moving from the outer edge of the chromatin to completely associating with fully-compacted chromatin. This is an interesting development that will allow further investigation into the role of SUMO and chromatin compaction.

[Read more…]

3rd Week of Research

Good Afternoon Readers,

In my third week of research in the Shakes’ lab, I worked with a fellow student researcher in the Kerscher lab to utilize their UTAG protocol on my nematode gonads. The kmUTAG protocol is developed from one of the SUMO proteases, Ulp-1; further, kmUTAG is a useful tool of evaluation because it has less affinity to bind to free, unconjugated SUMO. A quick note about the SUMOylation pathway, three enzymes are required for a protein to be SUMOylated. The three enzymes are known as the activating enzyme – E1, the conjugating enzyme – E2, and the ligase E3 – in nematodes, the enzymes frequently studied for their localization throughout nematode gonads, especially during the meiotic divisions are the conjugating enzyme (E2) UBC-9 and the ligase (E3) GEI-17. I have included a pathway depiction developed by Dr. Shakes at the bottom of this post.

[Read more…]

1st Week Experiment

Good Afternoon Readers,

Just a quick reminder as to the objective of my summer research – I am characterizing the pattern of SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-like Modifying) protein through spermatogenesis in C. elegans. During my first week of research in the Shakes’ lab, I completed a SUMO/DAPI/Actin prep. During the prep, we were interested in the meiotic divisions of spermatogenesis, especially the unpaired sex chromosome (note – males in C. elegans have only one X sex chromosome, they do not have a Y sex chromosome as in the male sex of humans.) This combined prep yielded many good pictures of anaphase I in C. elegans him8 and fog2 strains. I have included a panel of raw, anaphase I data from my first prep with a descriptive caption as to what one should see when looking at the pictures.

[Read more…]

Analysis of Milkweed Genotyping

With just a few individuals left to send off as redos, most of the focus on the milkweed project has moved towards analysis. Analysis is inherently tricky because there is a lot of trial and error. There are essentially a few options for analysis. You can use someone else’s software, you can modify someone else’s to fit your needs, OR you can make your own. The last one is obviously extremely time intensive, so our hope was to find a software we could use to fit our needs.

[Read more…]

Going with the flow: a new and improved milkweed project, finally getting results

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my three years of research, it’s that its super important to go with the flow. Since my last update my milkweed project has taken on an entirely new shape. After discovering that glyphosate herbicides do not act as a proxy for connectedness, I decided to use a different approach and expand on my project from last summer.

[Read more…]