Developing Novel Approaches to Study C. elegans Neuron-glia Development

Bhushan, Mahak (2022) Developing Novel Approaches to Study C. elegans Neuron-glia Development. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

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The functioning of the brain has piqued the interest of scientists for a long time and continues to be a booming field of research and speculation. The brain consists mainly of the neurons and the glia which attain varied morphologies, structures, and functions which are all linked to form a functioning system. The orchestration of events that leads to the formation of this complex system has principles that are the same across species ranging from invertebrates to vertebrates. It is remarkable that the neurodevelopmental principles of C.elegans, a worm, and Drosophila melanogaster, a fly, are similar to those of a 100-billion neuron human brain. Dissecting these principles is not just fascinating but could provide insight into several neurological disorders emerging around the world today. C.elegans provides an ideal model for studying these processes for a variety of reasons. Research with C.elegans has shown that the overlooked ‘glial’ cells of the nervous system have roles far beyond the traditional trophic roles. In fact, they are critical in sending guidance cues to neurons (to initiate what later becomes a brain), in the maintenance of neural structure and functioning of the nervous system during post-embryonic development. Studies have also identified the first neurons, or pioneer neurons, that sense and send guidance cues to other ‘follower’ neurons but also simultaneously attaining distinct morphologies and positions to aid in brain formation. However, much still remains elusive about the extent of role that the glia plays in circuit formation, the molecular mechanisms that it employs, which pioneer neurons are more important if at all, is there redundancy or ability to recover even if some cues are absent, and many more unexplored questions remain. This study tries to probe some aspects of the above questions asked by using today’s advanced molecular biology, genetics, and imaging approaches.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Dr. Georgia Rapti; Co-supervisor: Dr. Arnab Gupta
Uncontrolled Keywords: C.elegans; Glial Cells; Nervous System; Neurons
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Department of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2022 07:49
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2022 07:50

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