Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access




Rebecca Lyczak

Committee Member

Peter Small

Committee Member

Peter Chi

Committee Member

Rebecca Lyczak

Department Chair

Peter Small

External Reviewer

Philip Meneely

Distinguished Honors

This paper has met the requirements for Distinguished Honors

Project Description

In C. elegans, polarization of the one-cell embryo determines the anterior-posterior, or head-to-tail axis of the organism. The sperm-donated centrosome appears to be a key component in axis polarization although the mechanism of the centrosome cue has not been elucidated. PAM-1, a puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase, has a role in protein degradation to trigger the completion of meiosis and the formation of the anterior-posterior axis. Centrosomes in pam-1 mutants spend a significantly shorter duration at the posterior cortex and depart from the cortex prematurely, leading to a failure in polarity establishment. This project is looking to support the hypothesis that duration of centrosome-cortex contact might indicate the centrosome is necessary not only for initiating, but also for sustaining the polarization process. Incorporation of PAR proteins, which serve as additional polarity markers, into wild-type and pam-1 mutant strains followed with time-lapse imaging will provide greater understanding of centrosome dynamics applicable not only to C. elegans, but also to a diversity of organisms.