REU Project 6—Photoceptors of the circadian clock in Chlamydomonas—Dr. Sigrid Jacobshagen, Biology Department
The circadian clock is an endogenous, daily timer found in virtually all eukaryotes. It regulates many physiological and behavioral activities like the sleep/wake cycle in humans. Identifying photoreceptors that reset the circadian clock to the daily light/dark cycles in the unicellular model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii may help to better understand the resetting process in humans and the problems related to the process (jet-lag, certain forms of sleep disorders, and some forms of depression). Hypothesis: The photoreceptor responsible for resetting the circadian clock in Chlamydomonas is the single phototropin. Research questions: (1) Do RNA interference strains, created by Huang and Beck in 2003, still show a reduced level of the phototropin protein detectable by western blot analysis? (2) Do these strains show a reduced ability to reset their circadian rhythm of phototaxis upon light pulses?
- Gaskill* C., J. Forbes-Stovall*, B. Kessler, C.A. Rinehart, S. Jacobshagen. Auto-mated monitoring and analysis of circadian rhythms in phototaxis. Submitted to Plant Physiol & Biochem.