Biological Sciences, School of


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Ko Li. 2013 Investigation of the life history and lipid content consequences of reduced abundance of delta-9 Desaturases in Drosophila melanogaster. UNL


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Biological Sciences, Under the supervision of Professor Lawrence G. Harshman. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Li Ko


Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are essential components in all organisms, and the key enzymes that catalyze the production of MUFA are delta-9 desaturases. These enzymes are ER bound and introduce the first double bonds in saturated fatty acids. To investigate the role that delta-9 desaturases play in Drosophila life history and development we performed a series of studies using the RNAi method. Longevity results showed die-off peaks of the knocked-down (KD) flies at day 45. Fecundity study showed decreases in both egg productions and viability of these eggs. Development difficulties were observed in both regular diet and low fat diet. These results suggest disruption of delta-9 desaturase genes have markable impact on not only longevity, but also larval development and offspring production. Development difficulty in these experimental KD groups also supports that desaturases may be specific to fatty acid produced from de novo pathways.

Advisor: Lawrence G Harshman

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