The Initiation of Transcription and Gastrulation in the C. elegans Embryo Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • Tintori, Sophia
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology
Abstract
  • During embryonic development, cells must establish their fates, change their composition and shape to perform metabolic or structural functions, and move around each other to form the shapes of the body. An outstanding challenge of developmental biology is to explain how cells enact these fundamental processes, and coordinate with each other to create a complex multicellular animal. A prevalent hypothesis for how this coordination is achieved is that each cell’s fate and behavior is determined by a defined mixture of RNA transcripts. I created a resource documenting the full roster of transcripts present in each cell through the first few stages of C. elegans development. These embryonic cells are used as models to study a broad range of cell and developmental biology phenomena with a single-cell resolution. This new resource allows researchers to know, with a single-cell resolution, which transcripts are present and may be driving the diversity of biological phenomena taking place during these stages. With this resource, I described cell-specific patterns in the initiation of zygotic transcription. I identified novel genes that are critical for development. Finally, I have identified a family of proteins that may be triggering a specific cell behavior— that of cell motility during gastrulation. Beyond using this transcriptome dataset for my own research questions, I also developed an interactive data visualization tool. The goal of this tool is to ensure that the data are easily accessible to all interested researchers. Democratization of information is important both within the scientific community as well as between the scientific community and the public. Toward that end, I produced several animations, short narrative videos, and a short documentary film to share scientific stories with scientists, students, grantors, and the general public.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Duronio, Robert
  • Goldstein, Robert P.
  • Bautch, Victoria
  • Jones, Corbin
  • Conlon, Frank
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017
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