Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Markus Friedrich


Previous studies in holometabolous insects have shown that programmed and cell proliferation play important roles in insect metamorphosis. To elucidate the function of the newly identified Tribolium Prdm gene Apoptix (Apox) I performed a detailed analysis of Apox knockdown effects in the embryo, the pupa and the adult eye. My results revealed that Apox is required for the survival of retinal tissue after onset of differentiation and also generally in tissues which experience high amounts of proliferation and differentiation during pupal development. Further, combinatorial knockdown of Apox and initiator caspases produced evidence that Apox specifically protects from programmed cell death in Tribolium development. My results characterize a novel regulator of programmed cell death, which is highly conserved in arthropods but was lost during dipteran evolution.

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