The role of Syx1A during branching morphogenesis and seamless tube formation in the Drosophila tracheal system

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2017 Daniel C. Lai. All rights reserved.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biology Department

First Advisor

Jodi Schottenfeld-Roames


The Drosophila tracheal system undergoes a process known as branching morphogenesis, where new tubes are formed as extensions of previous tubes. Highly branched terminal cells lead branch outgrowths and form seamless tubes, unicellular tubes that lack cell junctions. To better understand the role of vesicle trafficking during terminal cell morphogenesis, we performed an RNAi screen against all known Syntaxin (Q-SNARE) proteins in the fly tracheal system. Knockdown of the late secretion regulator Syx1A resulted in reduced branching and lumen defects, similar to knockdowns of exocyst complex components. Overexpression of Syx1A also caused branching and lumen defects in terminal cells, revealing a dosage-dependent role for Syx1A during branchingmorphogenesis and seamless tube formation. Our findings support a role for late secretory pathway events in expanding both the basal and apical membranes during terminal cell morphogenesis.

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