Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Hatching, defined as a biochemical or biophysical mechanism that allows the embryo to leave its protective envelope, is found in most animals. In fish, reptiles and amphibians, mostly oviparous animals, this means the emergence of the embryo from an egg. In mammals, viviparous animals, hatching is performed by the blastocyst in order to shed the zona pellucida.

Fish, an oviparous animal, takes advantage of a biochemical mechanism in order to hatch and emerge from their chorion, or egg envelope. The mechanism includes the use of hatching enzymes that are secreted in order to digest the envelope membrane. The genes controlling the expression of these enzymes are transcribed and translated early in development and are secreted from the animal itself to perform their function. The gene, which controls expression of the protein, is in turn regulated by an upstream region called the promoter. It is the main goal of this project to clone and characterize the minimal promoter of the hatching enzyme gene within the Danio rerio, zebrafish, genome. This fragment will contain all the necessary regulatory elements to bind transcription factors and drive gene expression. The identification and analysis of the minimal promoter of the hatching enzyme gene can lead to the construction of a molecular tool that consists of a short promoter and reporter gene, to be used in conjunction with a variety of genetic screens

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.