Damian Kim Rose Hills
In Silico Analysis of Bottle Cells, Fates, and Migration
During gastrulation in Xenopus, a specific group of cells located at the organizer, called Bottle Cells, undergo apical constriction and invagination, forming the dorsal lip of the blastopore. Immediately after, the neighboring cells involute inwards towards the anterior end of the embryo, forming the mesoderm and the archenteron. Although the behaviors of cells have been described, the genes that control the processes are only beginning to be discovered. The Harland Lab believes the process of Bottle Cells formation resembles aspects of cell invasion, metastasis, and immunological processes, so studying the underlying similarities may lead to new insights in the field. Through the use of various databases I will identify potential gene candidates that may be crucial in Bottle Cell migration, and I will carry out whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH) and CRISPR/Cas9 experiments to validate my hypotheses, and hence identify the functions of these genes in relation to gastrulation and cell migration.