The Relationship between the 5-HT1B gene and Drosophila melanogaster

By Jasmyne Watkins and Serenity Baumgardner

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Morriss


Serotonin is a hormone that is responsible for mood, sleep, digestion, and other key body functions. It is a neurotransmitter that carries messages between the body and the brain also known as monoamine (5-HT). Alterations to the level of serotonin in the body can cause serious effects, for example low levels of serotonin can cause psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, sleep problems, digestive problems, PTSD, and other disorders. We have conducted an experiment to study the 5-HT1B gene in D. melanogaster by using CRISPR technology to successfully knockdown this targeted gene. After mating the flies with our elav driver, we looked for any abnormal behaviors like aggressiveness that could be associated with the knockdown of that 5-HT1B gene. We wrote down any concerning or abnormal behaviors, such as agitation and wing damage from fighting, and will later be doing a visual analysis between the control flies and the knockdown to quantify aggression and see if there is a significant difference between the two groups to either agree with or reject our hypothesis. After the completion of the observation period, we will be performing a RT-PCR and an ANOVA test to see how well we knocked down the gene.


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