Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Lori Adams

Thesis Mentor

Sarit Smolikove


Double-stranded breaks are necessary for the resolution of crossovers during the heterotypic cell division of meiosis I. Failure to repair these DSBs can lead to programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Caenorhabditis elegans, a member of the phylum Nematoda, is a model organism for the study of meiosis due to the temporal-spatial pattern of its gonad. gpx-8, homologous to human gpx-4, codes for a member of the glutathione peroxidase family, a group of proteins involved in the detoxification of peroxides. This project examined the effects of a homozygous deletion of the gpx-8 gene on the C. elegans germ line. The primary focus was on its presumed correlation to elevated apoptosis, as noted during the counting of RAD-51 foci. The effects of the deletion on brood size and gonad length were also explored. The deletion was discovered to have no effect on apoptosis levels in the C. elegans germ line; however, the project’s results did suggest that a gpx-8 deletion is correlated to larger brood sizes and comparatively smaller gonads. The overall results were inconclusive and difficult to interpret; future studies on this topic might explore a link between RAD-51 levels and gpx-8’s function in oxidative damage repair.


DNA, genetics, C. elegans, DNA damage, DNA damage repair, apoptosis

Total Pages

29 pages


Copyright © 2016 Grant Read

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