Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Gregg Roman

Second Advisor

Bradley Jones

Third Advisor

Mika Jekabsons

Relational Format



Unc13 are proteins in the presynaptic neurons essential in controlling synaptic vesicle fusion and synaptic transmission. Recently, the reduction of Drosophila melanogaster Unc13 proteins (Dunc13), were found to result in a resistance to alcohol, highly reminiscent of tolerance formation. I investigated whether genetically reducing Dunc13 activity in Drosophila brain regions leads to different forms of behavioral plasticity using an open field activity paradigm. In my approach, a Dunc13 RNAi transgene was expressed in the Drosophila brain within the mushroom body, the ellipsoid body, and in all neurons. The activities of the flies were examined in the open field paradigm to measure the locomotor and exploratory behavior. In my experiments, I did not find a significant effect of Dunc13 RNAi expression in any of the tested areas. I conclude by describing the effect of the reduction of Dunc13 activity in the neurons on the behavior of the fly and proposing methods of improvement.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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