Date Approved

2006

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. David Kass

Second Advisor

Dr. James VandenBosch

Abstract

Short and long interspersed DNA elements (SINEs and LINEs, respectively) can “jump” in germ-line cells generating new copies in other chromosomal regions. There is a sharp contrast in the number of SINEs within various rodent genomes. The purpose of this investigation is to assess the relative paucity of SINEs in the guinea pig genome in relation to other rodents. RNA was isolated from brain and kidney tissues of guinea pigs, and from the brain tissue of mice, in order to develop a method to assess the transcriptional regulation of SINEs and the loci that serve as source genes. This involved the use of rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and C-RACE. The latter technique involved C-tailing the RNA prior to RT-PCR. It was verified that RT-PCR products were amplified. In the future, assaying in gonadal tissues will be contrasted to copy number estimates of SINEs within the genomes of guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, and rabbits.

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