University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. David Plachetzki, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences
Transgenic Hydra : editing opsin with CRISPR
Genetic engineering is an up and coming method of technology in the science community. Due to new technologies, like CRISPR (a gene editing tool), we are able to affectively alter DNA to prevent various genetic mutations. CRISPR is fairly new and has modernized the world of gene alteration with its simplicity and efficiency. Gene alteration is helpful for understanding gene expression because the genes can be manipulated to test when/if the protein is encoded. CRISPR can be used on a variety of organisms and this lab will develop transgenic Hydra. Hydra are model organisms that will be bred to allow for embryo microinjection of CRISPR. The tool utilizes a guide RNA that brings an endonuclease to a gene of interest in the DNA. The endonuclease cuts the strand of DNA and inserts a gene encoding a fluorescent protein. If the embryo possesses transgenic tissue, then a fluorescent phenotype will be observed in the tentacles of the Hydra. The overall goal of this project is to insert a protein, that codes for a fluorescent phenotype, into the genome of a Hydra embryo to produce transgenic animals.