Analyzing Contractile Ring Dynamics in Mid-Embryogenesis of C. Elegans Public Deposited

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  • September 27, 2019
  • Breen, Coleman
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology
    • Other Affiliation: Department of Statistics and Operations Research
  • During cell division, a contractile ring made up of actin fibers, myosin motor ensembles, and cross linkers contracts to cleave one cell into two. How this large and complex molecular structure organizes and re-arranges as it constricts remains largely unknown. Our current research on the first embryonic division revealed that (1) as the contractile ring shrinks, it undergoes periodic speed oscillations and (2) these changes in speed are non-uniform around the ring. This suggests that the contractile ring is made up of semi-autonomous subunits rather than one uniformly constricting structure. To test how these behaviors are impacted by cell size, fate, and neighbor contacts, I propose to quantify and analyze speed oscillations and circumferential non-uniformity in various cells during early C. elegans embryonic development, when dividing cells become smaller, adopt distinct fates, and are connected to their neighbors by cell-cell junctions.
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