Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Systematic characterization of dorsal tracheal terminal cell branching throughout normal and dysregulated development in Drosophila larvae
Authors: Barrett, Lena
Advisors: ShvartsmanSchottenfeld-Roames, StanislavJodi Y
Contributors: Chemical and Biological Engineering Department
Keywords: Gas exchange
RAS/ERK pathway
Subjects: Developmental biology
Cellular biology
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Biological transport networks deliver nutrients and oxygen to the cells and tissues of many organisms and display complicated morphologies that are difficult to describe mathematically. One example is the Drosophila larval tracheal system, a network of air channels which mediates gas exchange between the external environment and recipient cells. The finest level of this network consists of terminal cells, which have an intricate unicellular branched network. We present a statistical, longitudinal study of terminal cells in Drosophila larvae over all three stages of larval growth, during which the larvae dramatically increase their size. Scaling relations extracted from geometric features of terminal cell networks reveal how the growth strategy of terminal cells changes throughout development. We discovered that terminal cells exhibit stretching growth in the early larval stages and self-similar growth in the final larval stage. The presented statistical analyses are powerful tools for investigating structure-function relationships throughout biological network development. Future studies should confirm these findings using in vivo microscopy techniques. Lastly, we demonstrate that normal gene expression levels of two disease-relevant, gain-of-function mutations (the RASopathy-associated MEKF53S and melanoma-associated MEKE203K alleles) in the Ras signaling cascade bias tracheal cells toward the terminal cell fate.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Chemical and Biological Engineering

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Barrett_princeton_0181D_14151.pdf4.25 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.