Student: Richard Bowman, Graduate Student in Integrative Biology, University of Iowa
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sarit Smolikove
RDF-1: Discovery of a novel repressor of double-strand break formation in Caenorhabditis elegans
The process of induction and completion of meiotic recombination is required for successful reproduction. Errors in the establishment of meiotic DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), resecting DSBs to create single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), or any of the downsteam processes leading to the formation of crossovers can cause the improper segregation of homologous chromosomes during cytokinesis of Meiosis I. The result of such errors may aneuploid gametes upon completion of Meiosis II. My project is characterizing a novel gene that data suggests is a previously unknown repressor of meiotic programmed DSBs. Verification of this role and identification of known or unknown proteins that interact with it in the control of DSB creation will further clarify this complex process, allowing the development of preventative and curative fertility treatments to improve quality of life here and make possible extended missions in space.