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Master of Science




Jamie M. Kramer


The SWI/SNF complex is a highly-conserved ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling complex that is important in the etiology of intellectual disability (ID). I systematically investigated the overall and adult-specific roles of each of the 15 Drosophila melanogaster SWI/SNF complex components in memory. Flies with RNAi-mediated knockdown of individual SWI/SNF genes in the mushroom body (MB) were tested for short- and long-term memory impairment using courtship conditioning. Knockdown of several SWI/SNF genes through development, including brahma, Bap60, Snr1, and e(y)3, caused loss of memory. Adult-specific knockdown of SWI/SNF genes caused some loss of memory phenotypes, indicating an acute role in adult MB activity. These data provide the first comprehensive neurobiological phenotypic profile of the SWI/SNF complex, demonstrating an essential role for this complex in the regulation of memory. These findings will help reveal the SWI/SNF complex’s role in regulating neuronal processes and fly memory, and have implications for understanding SWI/SNF-associated forms of ID.

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