The function of proteins in the development of germline stem cells in fruit flies

Hello,

My name is Matthew Badgett and this summer I am going to be working in Dr. Wawersik’s lab. I will be looking at the function of proteins in the development of germline stem cells in fruit flies. Stem cell populations have the potential to differentiate into different cell types while some cells are maintained as stem cells. This process is controlled by asymmetric cell division where cellular components are unevenly distributed between the two daughter cells. One of those cells remains a stem cell to continue the line while the other differentiates into a specific cell type, in this case sperm. This project will examine the function of a select few proteins in the establishment of the stem cell populations in male embryos. This will be done through either knocking out or mutating a number of genes that transcribe the proteins. The development of the stem cell populations will be monitored through immunostaining of a few proteins that are indicative of cell type. The results of this study can be used to determine what factors are necessary to establish a stem cell population which could be later applied in humans to create stable stem cell populations that could be used for medical techniques.