Presentation Title

Characterizing the Role of G-proteins in Mediating Multi-sensory Dependent Decision-Making

Faculty Mentor

Gareth Harris

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

CREVELING 39

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Humans respond to an array of sensory cues to allow the correct behavioral strategies to be performed, and in many organisms this is ultimately essential for survival.

Despite the appreciation of organisms having the ability to sense many cues that shape the execution of correct decisions and behavioral choices, the cellular mechanisms and neural circuits that mediate these behaviors are still not understood. We investigate the role of G-protein signaling in the nervous system of the invertebrate nematode, C. elegans. G-proteins have been previously implicated in a variety of behaviors and are required for sensation and neural processing of sensory information. G-proteins are the primary signaling units that allow an array of receptors to translate information into neurons which ultimately allows communication across the nervous system to coordinate many neuronally controlled behaviors. Using a combination of genetics and behavioral analysis, we investigate the role of G-proteins specifically in regulating sensory-dependent decision-making behavior. To do this we have examined mutants that are available that lack specific functions of G-protein pathways in a multi-sensory behavioral paradigm, known as, “2-nonanone-dependent food leaving”. In this paradigm, worms are challenged with both food signals and danger cues simultaneously and assessed for escape behavior and food leaving. We will determine if any of these G-protein genes mediate this aversive behavior through genetic manipulation of the worm. As C. elegans contains many genes that are conserved across the phyla, this provides an opportunity to dissect the role of G-protein signaling in multi-sensory behavior.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

Characterizing the Role of G-proteins in Mediating Multi-sensory Dependent Decision-Making

CREVELING 39

Humans respond to an array of sensory cues to allow the correct behavioral strategies to be performed, and in many organisms this is ultimately essential for survival.

Despite the appreciation of organisms having the ability to sense many cues that shape the execution of correct decisions and behavioral choices, the cellular mechanisms and neural circuits that mediate these behaviors are still not understood. We investigate the role of G-protein signaling in the nervous system of the invertebrate nematode, C. elegans. G-proteins have been previously implicated in a variety of behaviors and are required for sensation and neural processing of sensory information. G-proteins are the primary signaling units that allow an array of receptors to translate information into neurons which ultimately allows communication across the nervous system to coordinate many neuronally controlled behaviors. Using a combination of genetics and behavioral analysis, we investigate the role of G-proteins specifically in regulating sensory-dependent decision-making behavior. To do this we have examined mutants that are available that lack specific functions of G-protein pathways in a multi-sensory behavioral paradigm, known as, “2-nonanone-dependent food leaving”. In this paradigm, worms are challenged with both food signals and danger cues simultaneously and assessed for escape behavior and food leaving. We will determine if any of these G-protein genes mediate this aversive behavior through genetic manipulation of the worm. As C. elegans contains many genes that are conserved across the phyla, this provides an opportunity to dissect the role of G-protein signaling in multi-sensory behavior.