Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The Notch signaling pathway has diverse functions in male and female gonad development. In Drosophila male embryos, Notch specifies hub cell fate in somatic gonadal precursor cells (SGPs), which are important for maintaining germline stem cells and somatic cyst stem cells throughout the lifetime of adult flies. However, a role for Notch signaling in adult males has only started to emerge recently. Nonetheless, we still don’t understand how the Notch pathway functions to regulate spermatogenesis. Notch has been established to be important for the fertility of multiple systems, including mammals, and must be properly regulated for proper spermatogenesis, but the exact mechanism it employs remains unknown. It is important that we characterize how Notch functions in spermatogenesis for potential future work in fertility treatment. To tease apart the role of Notch signaling in spermatogenesis, we genetically manipulated the pathway to be constitutively active in the Drosophila testis alone. We hypothesized that this would result in defects in gonad development as well as altered spermatogenesis. We found that Notch appears to be important at late stages of spermatogenesis, specifically at the stage of sperm individualization. Notch signaling must be properly regulated in order to have proper somatic cell maturation, which allows for proper germline-soma communication during spermatogenesis. It is also important that we find Notch target genes and molecules that it interacts with in this process, in order to characterize its role in spermatogenesis further. We started to explore the relationship between Notch and Rib, a BTB family protein found to be important in gametogenesis. We found that Notch regulates Rib and these molecules could cooperate in a parallel manner to regulate spermatogenesis.

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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.

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