Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

James T. Blankenship, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michelle Knowles, Ph.D.


Drosophila, Embryogenesis, Rab8, RalA


Pseudocleavage furrow dynamics initiate at cycle 10 to help with mitotic divisions that lack cytokinesis. Permanent furrows then form at the beginning of cellularization (cycle 14). Cytoskeletal networks such as F-actin and non-muscle Myosin II have been demonstrated to be required for furrow formation and provide anchor points for chromosomal segregation. However, what drives the onset of furrow formation and membrane addition remains largely unclear. In my thesis, I have explored RalA and Rab8 function during furrow formation at metaphase and cellularization stages. These furrows are critical for correct chromosomal segregation, while disruption of furrow formation results in severe developmental defects and lethality. Polyclonal antibodies against both RalA and Rab8 were also generated to test the endogenous protein function and degree of the transgenic over-expression.

Through the spatial regulation of cell polarity genes and tension generated by an actomyosin network, intercalation establishes the Drosophila body axis during germband extension (GBE). Previous evidence has shown that interfaces undergo stepwise contraction with a stabilization period between each shrinking interval. However, little is known about how horizontal interface resolution occurs after vertical interface contraction. I have performed time-lapse live-imaging of embryos by spinning disk confocal microscopy, in order to address the potential interface extension mechanism.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Zhongyuan Zuo

File size

65 p.

File format





Molecular biology