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Analysis of micronuclei during C.elegans gametogenesis and embryogenesis

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — Poster Session IV

10:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center




  • S Rosu
  • O Cohen-Fix


Micronuclei arise when chromosomes or chromosome fragments become separated from the primary nucleus and form their own nuclear envelope compartment. Recent cell culture studies suggest that micronuclei can exhibit a range of functional defects, which may drive genomic instability. However, much remains unknown about the mechanisms leading to micronuclei formation, about the mechanisms causing micronuclei dysfunction and about the range of effects on cellular processes during development. To gain insights into micronuclei biology, we are investigating the causes and consequences of micronuclei formation in the C. elegans germline and embryo, which confer an excellent system to study micronuclei in an organismal and developmental context. We have found that the atl-1 (ATR homolog) mutant worms display micronuclei in germ cells undergoing oogenesis, and that this phenotype is more severe in older adults. Interestingly, micronuclei were not observed in oocytes, raising the possibility that micronuclei-containing germ cells are preferentially eliminated. In addition, atl-1 mutant worms form micronuclei in embryos, and preliminary live-image analysis of embryonic divisions suggest that micronuclei are highly dynamic and varied in their behavior. Further studies will shed new light on micronuclei formation, fate and properties during gametogenesis and embryogenesis.

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