Honors College Theses

Date

2021

Major

Biology (B.S.B.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Dongyu Jia

Abstract

Understanding the signaling pathways that conserved genes are involved in is essential for discovering the etiology of diseases. Genetic screens using the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster, are a useful way of testing large quantities of human genes and have been crucial in uncovering the pathways of genetic diseases in humans. Our primary data gathered comes from a genetic screen using GMR-Gal4 to drive UAS-human gene in fruit flies. We examined the flies for changes in ommatidia and eye bristles. In total, 803 UAS-human gene flies were screened and 71 produced altered eye phenotypes in D. melanogaster. Using bioinformatics databases, information was gathered about the identified genes from the genetic screen. Databases, including NCBI, are efficient tools for finding information such as D. melanogaster orthologs, evidence-based literatures, gene products, and functions. Gene enrichment analysis conducted by Gene Ontology showed that these sets of genes are involved in biological processes such as subpallium development and positive regulation of neuron death. Analysis of cellular components also indicates that these genes are involved in glial cell projection. The data from the genomic profile database, PRECOG, demonstrated that some of these genes are expressed highly in certain types of cancers. In summary, bioinformatics analysis provides us with valuable information about gene interactions and disease-relevance. Information gathered can then be used to draw new hypotheses and later tested with further experimentations.

Available for download on Tuesday, March 31, 2026

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