Annie Yau Rose Hills
Mapping and phenotypic characterization of sax-5 and sax-9 genes involved in anterior-posterior guidance and migration
Axon polarity and migration are essential for the development of connections in the nervous system. The molecules that guide axons along the dorsal-ventral axis in the model organism C. elegans have led to the discovery of conserved molecules in mammals. Surprisingly, much less is known about how cells or axons are guided along the anterior-posterior axis. Two genes in C. elegans, sax-5 and sax-9, have been identified to have roles in axon pathfinding and extension in the anterior-posterior axis. Mutations in the genes show additional defects in migration and axon extension of the canal-associated neuron and an axon reversal defect of the hermaphrodite specific neuron. I plan to map and characterize sax-5 and sax-9 using rapid single nucleotide polymorphism mapping and fluorescent transgene reporters. The products that these genes encode are yet unknown and their identification will likely shed new light on how cells and axons are guided during development.