Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Markus Friedrich


Previous work revealed that embryonic and post-embryonic knockdown (KD) of Tribolium Prdm gene Apoptix (Apox) leads to phenotypes, such as melanotic spots in external tissue of larval and pupal body. One part of my research is screening for Apox-specific phenotypes by RNA interference with a second Apox dsRNA. My results revealed that Apox is essential for the embryonic and post-embryonic survival and plays an important role in the regulation of embryonic and post-embryonic development in Tribolium, such as bristle formation. In addition, previous work showed that phenotypes of Apox KD Tribolium were significantly rescued by combinatorial knockdown of Apox and initiator caspases, suggesting that Apox is involved in programmed cell death (PCD) regulation. To test this, I stained the nuclei of Apox KD pupal tissue and detected the pyknotic cells as a result of PCD, which provided further evidence that Apox specifically protects from programmed cell death in Tribolium development. In addition, RT-PCR result and whole-mount in situ hybridization result in D. virilis revealed that Apox ortholog is expressed throughout the development of D. virilis and shared multiple expression domains between D. virilis and Tribolium at embryonic stage.

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