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Comparative Studies of Vulva Development in C. briggsae


Brown, Keith B. (2001) Comparative Studies of Vulva Development in C. briggsae. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/n37e-5g80.


As evolution progresses, developmental changes occur. Genes lose and gain molecular partners, regulatory sequences, and new functions. As a consequence, tissues evolve alternative methods to develop similar structures, more or less robust. How this occurs is a major question in biology. One method of addressing this question is by examining the developmental and genetic differences between similar species. Several studies of nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Oscheius CEW1 have revealed various differences in vulval development from the well-studied C. elegans (e.g. gonad induction, competence group specification, and gene function.)

I approached the question of developmental change in a similar manner by using Caenorhabditis briggsae, a close relative of C. elegans. C. briggsae allows the use of transgenic approaches to determine developmental changes between species. We determined subtle changes in the competence group, in 1° cell specification, and vulval lineage.

We also analyzed the let-60 gene in four nematode species. We found conservation in the codon identity and exon-intron boundaries, but lack of an extended 3' untranslated region in Caenorhabditis briggsae.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Biology
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Biology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sternberg, Paul W.
Thesis Committee:
  • Sternberg, Paul W. (chair)
  • Deshaies, Raymond Joseph
  • Meyerowitz, Elliot M.
  • Rothenberg, Ellen V.
Defense Date:1 June 2001
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03062014-111730488
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8108
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:06 Mar 2014 20:59
Last Modified:13 Sep 2022 18:31

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