Event Title

The effects of altitude and temperature on gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Dave Richard

Start Date

23-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

23-4-2019 1:00 PM

Description

With global surface temperatures steadily increasing over the past couple of centuries due to harmful greenhouse gasses building up, habitat ranges for insect populations have been increasing at higher altitudes. All aerobic species have different mechanisms to regulate gene expression while under hypoxic conditions; these gene factors are known as hypoxia induced factors (HIFs). There have been many studies examining hypoxic environmental effects on gene expression and development, however there have not been many studies regarding low pressure environments that would be seen at higher altitudes. Fruit flies (Drospohila melanogaster) are an ideal species to observe because they are economically efficient, easily maintained, and have a well understood genome. We exposed newly emerged fruit flies to a low pressure environment and low temperature environments equivalent to the highest human settlements, in the Himalayas, at an altitude of around 6,000 m above sea level, simulated inside a hypobaric chamber. This environment is becoming increasingly more effected by increasing global surface temperatures. By using 24h old ovaries, the DNA was converted into cDNA in order to perform real-time PCR and PCR analysis, to examine the potential genetic effects this environment could induce. By examining three genes: SIMA (HIF), Yolkless (Yolk receptor protein), CHICO, and Housekeeping Genes, this will tell us if reduced ambient pressure will affect gene expressions in male and female fruit flies. We expect to see an over expression of SIMA and an under expression of Yolkless in females, which, will help us to obtain a better understanding of the ability of the fruit flies to survive and reproduce within the high altitude conditions.

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Apr 23rd, 12:00 PM Apr 23rd, 1:00 PM

The effects of altitude and temperature on gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster

With global surface temperatures steadily increasing over the past couple of centuries due to harmful greenhouse gasses building up, habitat ranges for insect populations have been increasing at higher altitudes. All aerobic species have different mechanisms to regulate gene expression while under hypoxic conditions; these gene factors are known as hypoxia induced factors (HIFs). There have been many studies examining hypoxic environmental effects on gene expression and development, however there have not been many studies regarding low pressure environments that would be seen at higher altitudes. Fruit flies (Drospohila melanogaster) are an ideal species to observe because they are economically efficient, easily maintained, and have a well understood genome. We exposed newly emerged fruit flies to a low pressure environment and low temperature environments equivalent to the highest human settlements, in the Himalayas, at an altitude of around 6,000 m above sea level, simulated inside a hypobaric chamber. This environment is becoming increasingly more effected by increasing global surface temperatures. By using 24h old ovaries, the DNA was converted into cDNA in order to perform real-time PCR and PCR analysis, to examine the potential genetic effects this environment could induce. By examining three genes: SIMA (HIF), Yolkless (Yolk receptor protein), CHICO, and Housekeeping Genes, this will tell us if reduced ambient pressure will affect gene expressions in male and female fruit flies. We expect to see an over expression of SIMA and an under expression of Yolkless in females, which, will help us to obtain a better understanding of the ability of the fruit flies to survive and reproduce within the high altitude conditions.