Beckingham, Kathleen M.
||dc.creator||Bjorum, Sonia Marie
Bjorum, Sonia Marie. "A lov Story: A role for jim lovell in Drosophila neural development and fertility.." (2011) Diss., Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/64387.
A forward genetic screen looking for altered gravity response identified the gene
jim lovell (lov). This gene is related to the gene fruitless, which specifies male courtship
behavior in Drosophila. Like fruitless, lovencodes a protein with BTB-POZ domain and
DNA binding domain, suggesting roles in transcription and ubiquitin-mediated
degradation. In order to investigate the role(s) of lov further, several approaches have
been taken. Five new mutations to the locus have been generated and their effects on
various behaviors and development investigated. An antibody against the Lov protein has
been generated and used to determine the wild type and mutant expression pattern of Lov
during embryogenesis. The effects of ectopic expression and reduction of expression of
lov in components of the nervous system was analyzed using the GAIA/ VAS system.
These studies establish that lov expression is limited to the nervous system
beyond very early embryogenesis. In the wild type embryonic PNS, Lov is found in
subsets of neurons of all three classes - External Sensory neurons, Chordotonal organs
and Multiple Dendritic neurons suggesting that Lov plays a role in specifying the final
identity of certain neurons. One of the mutants has reduced Lov expression in the
embryonic nervous system.
Results from analysis of the new mutants and from the over/under-expression
studies performed using the GAIAIUAS system have identified roles of lov in several
behaviors and developmental processes. The altered expression of lov in the new mutant
alleles of lov results in decreased levels of male courtship directed towards a courtship
partner as well as an increase in non-directed courtship. Additionally, various defects in
sensory inputs were identified. The defects may contribute to in part to the reduced
courtship. One of the mutants, lov66, has a male-male courtship phenotype. lov66 also has
a reduced fertility due to defects in spermatogenesis, egg formation, and in ability of
females to use sperm effectively to fertilize eggs. Finally, both the over and underexpression
of lov resulted in a reduction in courtship.
A lov Story: A role for jim lovell in Drosophila neural development and fertility.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Doctor of Philosophy