“Elucidating the function of an F-Box Protein in food choice behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans”
Elizabeth Glater, PhD, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA 91711
A central question in neuroscience is understanding the mechanisms by which genes influence behavior. We study the genetic basis of the innate olfactory preferences of the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. In previous work we identified a gene that modifies the innate preferences of C. elegans for different species of bacteria, its major food source. The gene is a member of a recently evolved F-box protein family, but its function is unknown. F-box proteins are components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), a pathway that mediates the degradation of proteins. Dysfunction of the UPS has been strongly implicated in a number of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and autism, but little is known about how the UPS affects neuronal function. We are interested in understanding how this F-box protein, a component of the UPS, affects neuronal function in C. elegans. This summer we will test the hypothesis that this F-box protein changes bacterial preference behavior by modifying the function of sensory neurons using genetic techniques and quantitative imaging.

Elizabeth Glater, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biology
Harvey Mudd College
301 Platt Boulevard
Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 621-8767
Fax: (909) 607-7172
E-mail: Elizabeth_Glater@hmc.edu















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