Jesse Veenstra

Identification of development-specific mRNA splice variants from the rosA gene of Drosophila melanogaster


The rosA (receptor oscillation A) gene has been shown to encode a membrane protein that serves various physiological functions in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.  While rosA has been shown to be expressed in many different types of cells in adults and in various developmental stages, it is not known whether the same protein product functions in all cells through the lifespan of the fly.  Earlier work has suggested that this gene generates multiple mRNAs that differ in size, some of which are at different developmental stages.  Therefore, it is important to determine whether the different mRNAs generated by rosA encodes the same or different functioning proteins.  To identify the different mRNA products generated at each lifestage, RT-PCR was performed using rosA-specific primers to synthesize cDNA.  mRNA was isolated from specific developmental stages of Drosophila.  Initially, mRNA from adult heads was analyzed.  DNA primers were designed to detect specific mRNA species as well as unknown mRNA types transcribed from the rosA gene using a single-step RT-PCR technique.  Thus far, several different pairs of primers have produced a single RT-PCR product, while other primer combinations appear to produce a wider range of RT-PCR generated products, suggesting that there may be additional mRNA types identified in these experiments.  These RT-PCR products are being subcloned and analyzed using restriction enzyme digestion as well as DNA sequencing to allow identification of the products predicted protein sequence.  Once completed, it is expected that new and novel forms of the rosA protein will be identified in various developmental stages. 

Faculty Mentor: Martin Burg

Page last modified July 14, 2009