Presenter Information

Michelle HajdukFollow

Major

Biology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2020

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Reptile embryos are under the growing threat of increasing global temperatures. Rising temperatures have the potential to induce changes in morphology, physiology, and, in extreme cases, induce gross structure malformations. Heat stress proteins (Hsps) are part of a signaling cascade that buffers the effects of environmental stress, namely heat, on the developing embryo. Two Hsps, Hsp90 and Hsp70, are the most widely expressed and most deeply studied heat shock proteins. These are also known to be expressed in the developing neural tissues of reptiles. Normal or changing Hsp expression across potential incubation temperatures have not been studied in developing anole lizards or their relatives. In this study, I will examine changes in expression of Hsp90 and Hsp70 in Anolis sagrei over the range of incubation temperatures that this species is predicted to experience over the next 50-100 years. I will then disrupt Hsp signaling to examine whether these molecules are, in fact, buffering the embryos from the effects of thermal stress.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Dr. Thomas Sanger, Professor, Biology Department

Creative Commons License

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

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The Potential Buffering Mechanisms of Reptilian Embryos Developing Under Thermal Stress

Reptile embryos are under the growing threat of increasing global temperatures. Rising temperatures have the potential to induce changes in morphology, physiology, and, in extreme cases, induce gross structure malformations. Heat stress proteins (Hsps) are part of a signaling cascade that buffers the effects of environmental stress, namely heat, on the developing embryo. Two Hsps, Hsp90 and Hsp70, are the most widely expressed and most deeply studied heat shock proteins. These are also known to be expressed in the developing neural tissues of reptiles. Normal or changing Hsp expression across potential incubation temperatures have not been studied in developing anole lizards or their relatives. In this study, I will examine changes in expression of Hsp90 and Hsp70 in Anolis sagrei over the range of incubation temperatures that this species is predicted to experience over the next 50-100 years. I will then disrupt Hsp signaling to examine whether these molecules are, in fact, buffering the embryos from the effects of thermal stress.