Hosen Arman ‘21
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Kwangwon Lee, Associate Professor of Biology
Circadian rhythm is a biological rhythm with a period of about 24-hr in a constant condition. Circadian rhythms are found in many carefully studied organisms in all five kingdoms. This study aims to identify and characterize the genes responsible for one of the key properties of the circadian rhythm, the phase of entrainment. Using Quantitative Traits Locus (QTL) analysis, we have identified regions in a chromosome that is responsible for the variation of the trait. To identify the genes responsible for the phase in the identified QTL regions, we have performed four backcrosses, generating populations by crossing progenies with the target QTL region and the recurring parent strain. After the fourth backcross, two QTL regions were identified, and the predicted genes were searched in these regions using the genome database fungidb.org. To test if the candidate genes are involved in the phase determination, we performed race tube analysis in 25 knockout mutants lacking the candidate genes and FGSC2489 as a control. Our data showed that three mutants showed a statistically significant shift of the phase from the wild-type control phase. Further characterizations are required for these three strains to confirm these genes as phase QTL genes. Disruption of phase property of circadian rhythm has been linked to many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, sleep disorder, and obesity. This project will provide insight into the molecular understanding of the phase property of circadian rhythm.