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Asymmetric division in single cell nematode embryos outside the Caenorhabditis genus

Abstract : Asymmetric cell division is an essential process of development. The process and its regulation have been studied extensively in the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. Asymmetric division of the single-cell embryo is a conserved process in nematode species, however, the cellular features leading up to division are surprisingly variable. During my PhD, I aimed to study these differences by using two non-C. elegans embryos: Diploscapter pachys and Pristionchus pacificus. D. pachys is the closest parthenogenetic relative to C. elegans. Since the polarity cue in C. elegans is brought by the sperm, how polarity is triggered in D. pachys remains unknown. My results show that the nucleus inhabits principally the hemisphere of the D. pachys embryo that will become the posterior pole. Moreover, in embryos where the nucleus is forced to one pole by centrifugation, it returns to its preferred pole. Although the embryo is polarized, cortical ruffling and actin cytoskeleton at both poles appear identical. Interestingly, the location of the meiotic spindle also correlates with the future posterior cell. In some oocytes, a slight actin enrichment along with unusual microtubule structures emanating from the meiotic spindle are observed at the future posterior pole. Overall, my main PhD project shows that polarity of the D. pachys embryo is attained during meiosis wherein the meiotic spindle could potentially be playing a role by a mechanism that may be present but suppressed in C. elegans. For P. pacificus, biolistic transgenesis has been shown recently successful. However, due to a lack of a stringent selection marker, the continuation of this project was unfeasible during my PhD. Altogether, the results of my PhD add to the understanding of non-C. elegans early embryogenesis and emphasizes on the importance of using these species for comparative studies.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 26, 2021 - 11:39:18 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 3:13:54 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, February 27, 2022 - 6:50:15 PM


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Dureen Samandar Eweis. Asymmetric division in single cell nematode embryos outside the Caenorhabditis genus. Cellular Biology. Université Paris sciences et lettres, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021UPSLS063⟩. ⟨tel-03450971⟩



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