Mohammad Rashik

Document Type

Honors Thesis


This project involved the study of the fertility effects of lowering the amount of transcript (i.e., knocking down) two testis-specific duplicated genes in Drosophila melanogaster (commonly known as the fruit fly) to understand their function. The Betrán lab discovered that many genes duplicated from parental genes with mitochondria related function. The lab also found that these duplicated genes acquired testis-specific expression by studying the function of these genes. The study of two specific genes can help elucidate the reason for the duplication. The first gene was cytochrome c distal (a.k.a CG13263). The second gene was cytochrome c1 like (a.k.a CG14508). RNA interference (RNAi) technology was used to knock down the genes at two different temperatures (25oC and 27oC). This was achieved in a single fly cross. The progeny of these flies were obtained and crossed with a standard laboratory strain (w1118) and the number of progeny was counted. Flies that did not have the Gal 4 driver were mated with w1118 flies, and this cross was considered the control group. Males from the CG14508 and CG13263 knockdowns showed significantly reduced fertility at 25oC and complete sterility at 27oC for the gene libraries that were tested (GD library for CG13263 and KK library for CG14508). The results revealed that these genes are important for male reproduction. Furthermore, the study helped the understanding of the selective pressures that lead to the duplication of those genes. For CG13263, the RNAi served to confirm that the observed effects recapitulate the phenotype of a P-element insertion confirming RNAi usefulness as an approach to study gene function in spermatogenesis (i.e., serving as a positive control of the approach for the lab).

Publication Date






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