Date Approved

2010

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Committee Member

Dr. David Kass, Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Winning

Committee Member

Dr. Anne Casper

Abstract

SINEs (short interspersed DNA elements) are families of non-coding regions of DNA that amplify within genomes via an RNA intermediate and are referred to as retrotransposons. These elements mobilize using machinery from other retrotransposons and therefore are non-autonomous. It has been demonstrated that both nucleotide sequence and the 3’ A-tail are important contributors for successful amplification. We propose that the level of germ-line transcription of SINE “master genes” is a primary factor in their successful mobility and vertical transmission. RT-PCR and qPCR results suggested higher expression of both SINE and LINE elements in germ-line tissues over somatic. Additionally, the qPCR findings demonstrated higher expression of the IDL element by at least one order of magnitude than the guinea pig ID or LINE elements, relative to the -actin gene. These findings demonstrated a correlation between genomic copy number and expression levels as determined by qPCR, supporting our hypothesis.

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Biology Commons

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