Centrioles are conserved microtubule-based organelles that play essential roles in numerous cellular functions and in an organism's development. A cell requires exactly two centrioles in order to normally divide and function. Thus, it is important that centriole number is precisely regulated. However, in many animals, it appears that the unfertilized oocyte lacks any centrioles and it inherits only one centriole from the sperm. As a fertilized oocyte has two centrioles, it acquires the second centriole via an unidentified mechanism. The goal of this project is to better understand how the second centriole is acquired using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system.
Broader Impacts As well as answering basic Developmental and Cell Biology questions, this project will provide many developing and novice scientists (e.g., undergraduate and high school students) an opportunity to experience laboratory research at a top tier institution. Over the past five years, the Avidor-Reiss laboratory has developed and executed a student outreach program that provides students from Boston-area high schools and colleges with short term (2 - 3 month) or long-term (2 - 3 year) laboratory internships where they can gain direct training and exposure to research in the biological sciences. This is an exceptional and ideal opportunity for a young person who is considering a career in science. In conclusion, the proposed research will help educate and inspire the next generation of researchers.