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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Biological Sciences
Identifying genetic interactions of the spindle checkpoint in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Identifying genetic interactions of the spindle checkpoint in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Stewart, Neil
Description: Faithful segregation of chromosomes is ensured by the spindle checkpoint. If a kinetochore does not correctly attach to a microtubule the spindle checkpoint stops cell cycle progression until all chromosomes are attached to microtubules or tension is experienced while pulling the chromosomes. The C. elegans gene, san-1, is required for spindle checkpoint function and anoxia survival. To further understand the role of san-1 in the spindle checkpoint, an RNAi screen was conducted to identify genetic interactions with san-1. The kinetochore gene hcp-1 identified in this screen, was known to have a genetic interaction with hcp-2. Interestingly, san-1(ok1580);hcp-2(ok1757) had embryonic and larval lethal phenotypes, but the phenotypes observed are less severe compared to the phenotypes of san-1(ok1580);hcp-1(RNAi) animals. Both san-1(ok1580);hcp-1(RNAi) and san-1(ok1580);hcp-2(RNAi) produce eggs that may hatch; but san-1(ok1580):hcp-1(RNAi) larvae do not survive to adulthood due to defects caused by aberrant chromosome segregations during development. Y54G9A.6 encodes the C. elegans homolog of bub-3, and has spindle checkpoint function. In C.elegans, bub-3 has genetic interactions with san-1 and mdf-2. An RNAi screen for genetic interactions with bub-3 identified that F31F6.3 may potentially have a genetic interaction with bub-3. This work provided genetic evidence that hcp-1, hcp-2 and F31F6.2 interact with spindle checkpoint ...
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In vitro Cultures of Morus alba for Enhancing Production of Phytoestrogens

In vitro Cultures of Morus alba for Enhancing Production of Phytoestrogens

Date: December 2009
Creator: Bakshi, Vibhu
Description: Plant estrogens have long been associated with health benefits. The potential of tissue culture techniques for the production of several secondary metabolites has been known for many years. Tissue cultures stimulate the production or induce the biosynthesis of novel compounds not found in the mature plant. Tissue culture of Morus alba, family Moraceae, is known to contain phytoestrogens, was established on plant-hormone supplemented Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. Petiole and the stem tissue from mature trees were the best explants for initiation and proliferation of calli. The best callus proliferation was obtained on MS medium containing 1-napthalene acetic acid (1mg/ml) and benzylaminopurine (0.5mg/ml) for M. alba. Comparison of phytoestrogens of Moraceae species from in vivo and in vitro tissue isolation were carried out. The estrogenic activities of callus extracts were assayed in an estrogen-responsive yeast system expressing the human estrogen receptor alpha. Male callus extracts had higher estrogenic activity than male and female extracts from in vivo and in vitro tissues. Isolation and characterization of phytoestrogens from above tissues were carried out using solid phase extraction, high perfomance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques. Biochanin A, an isoflavonoid, was isolated as one of the compounds in male callus extracts. Biochanin ...
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Functional and Categorical Analysis of Waveshapes Recorded on Microelectrode Arrays

Functional and Categorical Analysis of Waveshapes Recorded on Microelectrode Arrays

Date: May 2005
Creator: Schwartz, Jacob C.
Description: Dissociated neuronal cell cultures grown on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays (MEAs) generate spontaneous activity that can be recorded for up to several weeks. The signature wave shapes from extracellular recording of neuronal activity display a great variety of shapes with triphasic signals predominating. I characterized extracellular recordings from over 600 neuronal signals. I have preformed a categorical study by dividing wave shapes into two major classes: (type 1) signals in which the large positive peak follows the negative spike, and (type 2) signals in which the large positive peak precedes the negative spike. The former are hypothesized to be active signal propagation that can occur in the axon and possibly in soma or dendrites. The latter are hypothesized to be passive which is generally secluded to soma or dendrites. In order to verify these hypotheses, I pharmacologically targeted ion channels with tetrodotoxin (TTX), tetraethylammonium (TEA), 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), and monensin.
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The stonefly genus Isogenoides Klapálek (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) of North America: Systematics, behavior and ecology.

The stonefly genus Isogenoides Klapálek (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) of North America: Systematics, behavior and ecology.

Date: May 2005
Creator: Sandberg, John Burton
Description: The stonefly genus Isogenoides is revised following a holomorphological approach utilizing traditional morphology and behavioral lines of evidence. Species keys are provided for all life stages. One species, I. krumholzi (Ricker) is considered a synonym of I. doratus (Frison). Detailed species descriptions are provided for males, females, nymphs and ova. Distributions are updated utilizing all known published accounts and materials examined. The vibrational communication (drumming) behavior is reported for males and all but one species for females. The signals were species-specific and ranged in complexity from ancestral sequenced duets to derived grouped exchanges. I. olivaceus is least specialized, having mostly sequenced duets, and I. zionensis most specialized, displaying ancestral sequenced, derived grouped and complex derived exchanges containing both sequenced and grouped elements. Laboratory egg incubation experiments over a 2-4 year period show that Isogenoides has a great capacity for extended, sometimes-asynchronous diapause and hatching. The eggs of six species were incubated at a single, ca. simulated San Miguel River, Colorado, seasonal temperature regime. Direct hatch within two weeks occurred only for I. zionensis (Leopard Creek, Colorado) with small numbers hatching again after one, two, and four years. Eggs of I. doratus and I. varians hatched after an over summer, 3-5 ...
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Chemotactic Response of Lumbricus terrestris Coelomocytes to Larval and Adult Stages of Rhabditis pellio

Chemotactic Response of Lumbricus terrestris Coelomocytes to Larval and Adult Stages of Rhabditis pellio

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Date: December 1999
Creator: Medrano, Jennifer Centurion
Description: Experiments were performed to assess the suitability of Rhabditis pellio, a nematode found in earthworms, as a challenge organism for use in development of a biomarker assay to determine the potential of chemicals to suppress the immunocompetence of the non-specific immune system. To accomplish this goal, information on the life cycle of R. pellio was determined; including effects of incubation time and temperature on growth rates; along with information on the immune response elicited in the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris. Immune parameters measured were coelomocyte migration toward and attachment to R. pellio larvae and adults. Preliminary background information showed that R. pellio has potential as a challenge organism for development of a biomarker assay.
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Genetic Modification of Fatty Acid Profiles in Cotton

Genetic Modification of Fatty Acid Profiles in Cotton

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Date: August 2005
Creator: Rommel, Amy A.
Description: The industrial uses of cottonseed oil are limited by its fatty acid composition. Genetic modification of cotton lipid profiles using seed-specific promoters could allow cotton growers to produce valuable new oils in the seed without adverse effects on fiber quality and yield, therefore making this crop more commercially profitable. Transgenic cotton callus harboring a diverged fatty acid desaturase gene (FADX) from Momordica charantia was characterized for production of alpha-eleostearic acid (conjugated double bonds: 18:3 D9 cis, 11 trans, 13 trans), not normally found in cotton. Gas chromatography (GC) in conjunction with mass spectrometry (MS) confirmed production of alpha-eleostearic acid in the transgenic cotton tissues. A second series of transformation experiments introduced the cotton fatty acid thioesterase B (FATB) cDNA, fused to the seed-specific oleosin promoter into cotton to promote the over-expression of FATB, to generate cotton with increased palmitate in the cottonseed. PCR amplification, as well as fatty acid analysis by gas chromatography, confirmed introduction of the FATB cDNA in transgenic tissues. Collectively, these results demonstrate the feasibility of manipulating the fatty acid composition in cotton via transgenic approaches and form the basis for continued efforts to create novel oils in cottonseed.
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Application of cultured neuronal networks for use as biological sensors in water toxicology and lipid signaling.

Application of cultured neuronal networks for use as biological sensors in water toxicology and lipid signaling.

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Dian, Emese Emöke
Description: This dissertation research explored the capabilities of neuronal networks grown on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays in vitro to be applied to toxicological research and lipid signaling. Chapter 1 details the effects of chlorine on neuronal network spontaneous electrical activity and pharmacological sensitivity. This study demonstrates that neuronal networks can maintain baseline spontaneous activity, and respond normally to pharmacological manipulations in the present of three times the chlorine present in drinking water. The findings suggest that neuronal networks may be used as biological sensors to monitor the quality of water and the presence of novel toxicants that cannot be detected by conventional sensors. Chapter 2 details the neuromodulatory effects of N-acylethanolamides (NAEs) on the spontaneous electrical activity of neuronal networks. NAEs are a group of lipids that can mimic the effects of marijuana and can be derived from a variety of plant sources including soy lecithin. The most prominent NAEs in soy lecithin, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and linoleoylethanolamide (LEA), were tested individually and were found to significantly inhibit neuronal spiking and bursting activity. These effects were potentiated by a mixture of NAEs as found in a HPLC enriched fraction from soy lecithin. Cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1-R) antagonists and other cannabinoid pathway modulators indicated ...
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Temperature tolerances and predation susceptibilities of transgenic and wildtype zebra danios, Danio rerio.

Temperature tolerances and predation susceptibilities of transgenic and wildtype zebra danios, Danio rerio.

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Date: August 2005
Creator: Cortemeglia, Cheryl
Description: Both the upper and lower temperature tolerances of red fluorescent protein transgenic zebra danios and wildtype zebra danios, Danio rerio, were significantly different via two different methods; however, all differences are small (< 1°C) and probably not ecologically important. The U.S. geographic distributions of both transgenic and wildtype zebra danios will not be restricted by their upper thermal tolerances, but will be limited to the southern and western portions of the U.S. by their lower thermal tolerances. Largemouth bass did not preferentially prey upon transgenic zebra danios compared to wildtype danios or wildtypes relative to a native fish. If transgenic or wildtype zebra danios are released into southern or western U.S. waters, it is possible they could be eliminated by predation.
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Influence of Cholesterol Import on  Aspergillus fumigatus Growth and Antifungal Suscepibility

Influence of Cholesterol Import on Aspergillus fumigatus Growth and Antifungal Suscepibility

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Date: December 2003
Creator: Hassan, Saad A.
Description: Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis is a life-threatening fungal infection commonly observed in immunocompromised patients and has a mortality rate approaching 100% once the disease is disseminated. Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common pathogen. Early diagnosis improves the prognosis but is very difficult since most signs and symptoms are nonspecific. Antifungal therapy, usually based on sterol biosynthesis inhibitors, is also of limited efficacy. In my attempts to discover a diagnostic sterol marker for aspergillosis, I observed that A. fumigatus incorporates large amounts of cholesterol from serum-containing medium. This observation suggested the hypothesis that exogenous cholesterol from the host can be imported by A. fumigatus and used as a substitute for ergosterol in the cell membrane. This proposed mechanism would reduce the efficacy of antifungal drugs that act as sterol biosynthesis inhibitors. Experiments to test this hypothesis were designed to determine the effects of serum-free and serum-containing medium on growth of A. fumigatus in the presence and absence of azole antifungal agents. The results showed a marked increase in growth in the presence of human serum. Cultures in media containing cholesterol but no serum also showed enhanced growth, a result indicating that a non-cholesterol component of serum is not primarily responsible for the ...
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The structure and function of troponin T upon metal ion binding and the detection of nucleic acid sequence variations.

The structure and function of troponin T upon metal ion binding and the detection of nucleic acid sequence variations.

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Date: May 2005
Creator: Zhang, Zhiling
Description: Numerous troponin T (TnT) isoforms are generated by alternative RNA splicing primarily in its NH2-terminal hypervariable region, but the functions of these isoforms are not completely understood. In this dissertation work, calcium and terbium binding behavior of several forms of TnT were investigated by spectroscopic and radioactive techniques. Chicken breast muscle TnT binds calcium and terbium through its NH2-terminal Tx motif (HEEAH)n with high affinity (10-6 mM) and fast on-rate (106 - 107 M-1 s-1). Chicken leg muscle TnT and a human cardiac TnT NH2-terminal fragment, which both lack the Tx motif on their NH2-terminal regions, do not have affinities for calcium in the physiological range. Computational predictions on TnT N47 suggest that the TnT NH2-terminal region might fold into an elongated structure with at least one high affinity metal ion binding pocket comprised primarily of the Tx motif sequence and several lower affinity binding sites. In addition, calcium binding to TnT N47 might alter its conformation and flexibility. Luminescence resonance energy transfer measurements and other experimental observations are consistent with the computational predictions suggesting the computational simulated atomic model is reasonable. TnT mutations are responsible for 15% of familiar hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) cases with a phenotype of relatively mild ...
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