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Developing a protocol for RT-qPCR of wing-tissue gene expression and investigating the dynamics of photoperiodically induced polyphenism in the water strider Gerris buenoi
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2023 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Wing polyphenism in insects is a type of phenotypic plasticity where environmental factors trigger the development of a set of discrete wing morphologies. In the water strider Gerris buenoi, photoperiods are the main environmental cue that trigger wing morph determination. The genetic mechanisms connecting environmental cues and the determination of wing morph in G. buenoi are not clear. However, recent experimental work suggests that engagement of the Hippo pathway via ecdysone signalling is a promising model for further investigation. In this study, a reverse-transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) protocol was developed, aimed at elucidating this potential transduction pathway by quantifying gene expression of Fat, Dachsous, Yorkie, EcR, E75 and E74. This was done using melt curve analysis, gel electrophoresis, sequencing of RT-qPCR products and qPCR standard curves. Additionally, wing morph distribution in extreme and intermediate photoperiods were examined. Wing morph proportions were significantly different between adults emerging in the intermediate photoperiods 15.30:8.30 and 15:9 (hours light : hours dark). An effect of sex was observed, with a higher probability of males becoming long-winged compared to females. This has likely evolved as a result of a dispersal-reproduction trade-off. Taken together, this study provided insight for future investigations of periodically induced wing morph determination and its genetic mechanisms in G. buenoi that will contribute to the understanding of phenotypic plasticity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 23
Keywords [en]
wing polyphenism, polyphenism, phenotypic plasticity, RT-qPCR, water strider, Gerris buenoi
National Category
Natural Sciences Biological Sciences Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ecology Genetics Evolutionary Biology Cell Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-516148OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-516148DiVA, id: diva2:1812643
Educational program
Master Programme in Biology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2023-11-17 Created: 2023-11-16 Last updated: 2023-11-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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