Jordyn Wright

Year: Senior

Major(s): Biochemistry, Psychology of Natural Sciences

Mentor: Dale, Rodney

Department: Biology

Project Title: A Novel Approach at Disrupting Vertebrate Gene Regulation

Project Abstract: Although the genes for collagen development have been identified in many organisms, the question of how those genes are regulated in vertebrates remains unanswered. Using zebrafish as a model organism, we will study the mechanisms of collagen type II gene regulation throughout development. With a better understanding of the upstream regulators of collagen expression, we hope to understand the DNA-protein interactions which control important vertebrate structures like the notochord, intervertebral discs, and craniofacial cartilage. To elucidate this process, we will create targeted regulatory element deletions. These deletions will not only reveal insights into the mechanism of collagen regulation, but also provide ways to reproduce and examine complex human genetic disorders of collagen using zebrafish as a vertebrate model. While other laboratories have used such techniques targeting protein coding exons, we will be undertaking a novel technique of generating regulatory element knock-outs.