Authors

Hannah L. Anthony '12, Gettysburg College

Location

Science Center 300

Session

Biology Oral Presentation Session II

Start Time

5-5-2012 11:00 AM

End Time

5-5-2012 12:00 PM

Supervising Faculty Member

Jennifer Powell

Department

Biology

Description

Innate immunity is crucial in the response and defense against pathogens for invertebrates and vertebrates alike. The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model to study the eukaryotic innate immune response to microbial pathogenesis. Prior research indicates that the protein receptor FSHR-1 plays an important role in the innate recognition of intestinal infection due to pathogen consumption. Determining what genes are controlled by FSHR-1 may uncover an unknown pathway that could increase not only the comprehension of the C. elegans immune system but also innate immunity generally. To characterize the function of FSHR-1, four candidate pathogen response genes that appear to be regulated by FSHR-1 were evaluated in worms infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Although intestine specific RNA interference of these four genes did not show immunity phenotypes, quantitative PCR suggests that FSHR-1 regulates the basal and/or infection-induced expression of three of the four genes. To explore this FSHR-1-dependent transcriptional induction, fluorescent transgenic reporters were constructed for the three candidate FSHR-1 target genes. The spatial expression of one putative pathogen response gene was characterized in transgenic worms under both control and pathogenic conditions. RNA interference was performed to assess the FSHR-1 dependency of this expression pattern.

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May 5th, 11:00 AM May 5th, 12:00 PM

Pathogen Response Genes Mediate Caenorhabditis elegans Innate Immunity

Science Center 300

Innate immunity is crucial in the response and defense against pathogens for invertebrates and vertebrates alike. The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model to study the eukaryotic innate immune response to microbial pathogenesis. Prior research indicates that the protein receptor FSHR-1 plays an important role in the innate recognition of intestinal infection due to pathogen consumption. Determining what genes are controlled by FSHR-1 may uncover an unknown pathway that could increase not only the comprehension of the C. elegans immune system but also innate immunity generally. To characterize the function of FSHR-1, four candidate pathogen response genes that appear to be regulated by FSHR-1 were evaluated in worms infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Although intestine specific RNA interference of these four genes did not show immunity phenotypes, quantitative PCR suggests that FSHR-1 regulates the basal and/or infection-induced expression of three of the four genes. To explore this FSHR-1-dependent transcriptional induction, fluorescent transgenic reporters were constructed for the three candidate FSHR-1 target genes. The spatial expression of one putative pathogen response gene was characterized in transgenic worms under both control and pathogenic conditions. RNA interference was performed to assess the FSHR-1 dependency of this expression pattern.