Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Eukaryotic cilia and flagella are highly conserved cellular structures found in
organisms as diverse as algae, worms and humans. While they share a common
internal structure in the axoneme, they have evolved to fill a wide variety of roles
including cell motility, cell signaling, locomotion and sensory reception. The axoneme
itself is a complex structure highlighted by its circular arrangement of nine microtubule
doublets and, in the case of motile cilia, two additional microtubules in the center.
Despite this common conserved structure, little is known about how different types of
motile cilia specialized for different functions evolved. One possibility is that
duplication of genes coding for conserved structural proteins allows for specialization
in different cilia types or new functions. Such specialization or neofunctionalization is
often accompanied by changes in transcriptional regulation. Two families of genes
encoding coiled-coil domain proteins involved in ciliary structure are the Tektins and
ODF3. The overall aim of this study is to elucidate the evolutionary history of these two
protein families and investigate how gene duplications may have led to specialization in
specific ciliary structures and divergence in transcriptional regulation during the early
development of the polychaete Platynereis dumerilii.
Bastin, Benjamin, "Evolution of Tektin and ODF3 family genes and the role of gene duplication in the specialization of motile ciliary structures in the polychaete Platynereis dumerilii" (2018). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 16547.