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Caenorhabditis Elegans Gene Expression Report Assignment (Lab Report Sample)



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Caenorhabditis elegans Gene Expression Lab Report
C. elegans is a multicellular organism with a relatively shorter life span, 3 days. This allows researchers to employ it in several kinds of studies because it will take a short period of time for results to be observed. In addition they are inexpensive in terms of maintenance requirements. Their tiny size, of approximately 1mm, demands for little space in a limited laboratory space. It is relatively transparent thus it allows for the observation of internal body structures as well as staining patterns (Boulin, Thomas, Etchberger, and Hobert, n.pag.). `
C. elegans can be visualized for differential expression patterns of reporter genes by application of the green fluorescent proteins and the LacZ gene for the expression of beta-galactosidase. This experiment concentrates on differential expression of LacZ gene. The worm’s transparent nature will allow for microscopic examination of the worm without the need for dissection (Boulin, et al. n. pag.).
The disadvantage of using the LacZ gene as a reporter gene in C. elegans is that the worms have to be killed and fixed first before staining and visualization processes. In the other hand the green fluorescent protein allows for visualization on life organisms. In that respect the LacZ gene is not a good candidate for gene expression pattern examination; localization of target proteins and cellular or multicellular anatomical studies (Boulin, et al. n.pag.).
Materials and Methods
For this paper, I did adhere and followed the guidelines for materials and procedures as it is in the laboratory manual without any alteration whatsoever.
Results and Discussion
The aim of this paper was to examine for the differential expression patterns of the LacZ reporter gene in C. elegans. I was also required to identify mutant strains basing on the differential patterns of expression of the LacZ reporter gene in C. elegans. I used the X-gal substrate which turned blue based on the differential quantities of the β-galactosidase, a product of the LacZ gene expression. The X-gal substrate turned blue when it interacted with the enzyme named above. However, I noted some differences on the color change when I compared staining images as shown on Figure 1 and 2 above (Boulin,et al. n.pag.).
It is apparent in Figure 1 below that the C. elegans strain over expresses the target gene on the frontal section of the body, especially the pharynx and the gut. The three worms labeled as A, B and C shows a similar pattern. The expression of the target gene in other parts of the body is uniform. This can be an indication the specific gene promoter is more active at the pharynx and the gut sections. Another prediction is that the cells at the pharynx and the gut have turned cancerous thus leading to over expression of the target gene. I therefore conclude that the worms labeled A, B and C as shown in Figure 1below represents the C. elegans mutant strains (Boulin,et al. n.pag.).
Figure 2 shows one worm labeled D. I did find the C. elegans strain to have uniformly expressed the gene linked to the LacZ reporter gene. As opposed to worms A, B and C in Figure below this strain appears to have maintained the wild type gene thus it uniformly expresses the gene of interest uniformly in the cells of the body whereby the gene transcription is active. I am not claiming that the gene of interest is being expressed in all the body’s cells, for that I will be technically wrong (Boulin,et al. n.pag.).
However, both the Figures (1 and 2) shows that the gene of interest is being expressed and hence functional. Expression means that the gene is being transcribed and later translated into a functional protein. The LacZ gene thereby is transcribed and translated hand in hand with the gene of interest. As explained above, the worms labeled A, B, and C harbors a mutant form of the gene of interest. The mutant cells are localized at the pharynx and the gut section. The other body cells seem to be normal. The kind of the ...
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