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Chemosensory gene expression analysis in the argentine ant, linepithema humile

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Title: Chemosensory gene expression analysis in the argentine ant, linepithema humile
Author(s): Laird, Joseph G.
Advisor(s): Suarez, Andrew V.; Robertson, Hugh M.
Contributor(s): Robertson, Hugh M.
Department / Program: School of Integrative Biology
Discipline: Biology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Linepithema humile opsin odorant receptors odorant binding protein SYBR Green
Abstract: This experiment was conducted to determine expression patterns of a subset of chemosensory genes, including odorant receptors (Ors) and odorant binding proteins (OBPs), in the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile. Fragments of two Ors were identified from a whole ant EST project, which suggested their potential importance in Argentine ant ecology. An initial RT-PCR experiment demonstrated that OrA and OrB were expressed throughout the body. The newly available genome sequence was used to manually build additional Or gene models to test in RT-PCR. OBP and opsin genes were also tested in the RT-PCR to serve as positive and negative controls. The RT-PCR results were unclear; therefore qPCR was conducted for a semi-quantitative analysis of their gene expression in the tissue samples. It was hypothesized that the expression levels for the Ors should be high in the head/antennal samples, and low in the other body samples assayed. We also hypothesized that the OBPs would have variable of expression levels in all the body regions analyzed and that opsins would be highly expressed in the head/antennal region since they are photoreceptors in the eyes. The qPCR results demonstrated that the Ors and opsins were highly expressed in the head/antennal samples compared to the thorax/legs and abdominal tissue samples. The OBPs did not have a pattern that suggested a bias toward one tissue, but were highly expressed in all body regions.
Issue Date: 2010-05-19
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Joseph G. Laird
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-05-19
Date Deposited: May 2010

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