Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Anthony Percival-Smith


The important pair-rule segmentation gene fushi tarazu (ftz) encodes a homeodomain (HD)-containing protein involved in the establishment of even-numbered parasegments during embryonic development. The D. melanogaster ftz is a derived homeotic selector (Hox) gene which lost its homeotic function during the evolution of arthropods. Genetic analyses have shown that FTZ has two distinct activities required during development: HD-dependent and HD-independent FTZ activities. The aim of this study was to test the interaction of the two FTZ activities proposed by Hyduk and Percival-Smith (1996), by generating site-specific mutant ftz alleles for intragenic complementation. CRISPR-mediated homology directed repair (HDR) was used to introduce engineered ftz alleles into the ftz locus. Subsequently, four ftz engineered alleles were constructed in vectors for reintroduction by Recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE). Despite using multiple approaches no CRISPR mediated HDR events were detected, and therefore, the model could not be tested.