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  • Undergraduate Poster Abstracts
  • Genetics

    FRI-G18 ATX-2, THE C. ELEGANS ORTHOLOG OF HUMAN ATAXIN-2, REGULATES KEY CYTOKINESIS PROTEINS AND IS NECESSARY FOR ER MORPHOLOGY AND P GRANULE SEGREGATION

    • Megan Gnazzo ;
    • Ahna Skop ;

    FRI-G18

    ATX-2, THE C. ELEGANS ORTHOLOG OF HUMAN ATAXIN-2, REGULATES KEY CYTOKINESIS PROTEINS AND IS NECESSARY FOR ER MORPHOLOGY AND P GRANULE SEGREGATION

    Megan Gnazzo, Ahna Skop.

    University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is a late onset neurodegenerative disease caused by a polyglutamine (CAG) expansion in human Ataxin-2. These mutations in Ataxin-2 prevent proper protein folding and lead to degeneration and atrophy of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. SCA2 patients suffer from abnormal muscle coordination, balance, and shortened lifespan. Ataxin-2 was identified in a proteomic screen of isolated mammalian midbodies and the corresponding C. elegans ortholog, ATX-2, displayed defects in cytokinesis. Ataxin-2 is an RNA-binding protein with described roles in RNA metabolism and translation. In C. elegans, atx-2 fRNAi-treated embryos display defects in early and late cytokinesis, spindle orientation, and ER morphology. Altered localization of ZEN-4-GFP, a spindle midzone marker, is observed in atx-2 fRNAi treated embryos. Here, the localization of ZEN-4-GFP is decreased at the midzone and ZEN-4-GFP signal appears in the cortex. Depletion of ATX-2 also leads to an increased expression of the 14-3-3 protein, PAR-5, a negative regulator of ZEN-4. Lastly, P granule segregation defects have been observed in 70% of the ATX-2 depleted embryos, suggesting that ATX-2 may play a role in RNA regulation and localization during development. We suggest that ATX-2 plays an important role in cytokinesis by regulating ZEN-4 localization and PAR-5 levels during the cell cycle. We will present our current understanding of the cellular functions of ATX-2 in the C. elegans embryo.

    THU-G19 MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF IRON STRESS RESPONSE IN SOYBEANS

    • Leorrie Atencio ;
    • Justin Ryan Salazar ;
    • Adrienne Moran-Lauter ;
    • Michael Gonzales ;
    • Steven Whitham ;
    • Michelle Graham ;

    THU-G19

    MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF IRON STRESS RESPONSE IN SOYBEANS

    Leorrie Atencio1, Justin Ryan Salazar1, Adrienne Moran-Lauter2, Michael Gonzales3, Steven Whitham1, Michelle Graham2.

    1Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 2Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Ames, IA, 3Center for Applied Genetic Technology, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

    Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is a disease resulting from lack of useable iron that results in yield loss at the end of the season. This is particularly important in the upper Midwestern U.S. because soil conditions favor the development of IDC. Therefore, we are interested in characterizing soybeans’ short- and long-term response to iron stress. Our research takes advantage of 2 near-isogenic lines that are 98% genetically identical but differ in their iron response. Clark plants are iron efficient, while Isoclark plants are iron inefficient and develop symptoms of IDC under iron-stress conditions. Both Clark and Isoclark plants were grown in hydroponics in a greenhouse for 10 days. Plants were grown in 1 of 3 treatments: iron sufficient media for 10 days, iron deficient media for 10 days, or iron sufficient media for 8 days followed by transfer to iron deficient media for 2 days. To ensure that all plants received similar treatment, at 8 days the roots of all plants were rinsed in water and then plants were returned or transferred to the appropriate media. We used bioinformatic methods to compare RNA-seq data from the 48 generated samples. This approach allowed us to identify thousands of genes differentially expressed in response to short- and long-term iron deficiency in both Clark and Isoclark. We are currently using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) to silence candidate iron-efficiency genes. We expect this information will aid in developing soybean lines with increased tolerance to IDC.