Date of Award
Environmental and Forest Biology
The Drosophila gene teashirt (tsh) codes for a transcription factor that is part of a genetic network specifying eye identity. Three vertebrate tsh homologs have been identified (tshz1-3). All three mouse tshz genes can induce ectopic eyes in tsh loss-of-function flies. It is not yet known if any of the three tshz genes are required for vertebrate eye formation. This study was conducted to determine if any of the three Xenopus laevis tshz genes is expressed in the eye field or eye primordia during development. Although tshz1 mRNA was expressed in the neuroectoderm, spinal cord, branchial arches, and olfactory placode, transcripts were never detected in either the eye field or eye primordia at any of the stages tested. In contrast to tshz1, tshz3 mRNA was detected in the eye primordia as early as stage 22 with strongest expression at stage 24. In addition, tshz3 was also detected in the neuroectoderm, spinal cord, branchial arches, neural fold, and hindbrain. Expression of tshz3 in the eye primordia suggests its possible involvement in vertebrate early eye formation.
McKissick, Katherine L., "Expression Pattern of Xtshz1 and Xtshz3 During Xenopus Early Eye Formation" (2012). Honors Theses. 54.