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A MOLECULAR INVESTIGATION OF CHEMESTHESIS IN EISENIA HORTENSIS THROUGH ANALYSIS OF TRANSIENT RECEPTOR POTENTIAL CHANNELS

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abstract
The earthworm fulfills an important ecological function in breaking down waste, providing key nutrients for plants, and promoting soil health worldwide. Despite their indispensable role in agriculture, little is known about the chemical senses of earthworms, especially how they detect noxious compounds - a sense known as chemesthesis. The goal of this investigation was to examine transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the European nightcrawler, Eisenia hortensis. TRP channels are cation channels that play a critical role in the detection of chemical irritants as well as thermal and mechanical stimuli in most animals. The search for these TRP channels was conducted using polymerase chain reactions and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Using these methods, we have amplified several E. hortensis DNA fragments that resemble TRP channels, specifically TRPA1, TRPM8, and TRPV1, in other species. These are a few of the first steps in elucidating the chemosensing capabilities and mechanisms of earthworms. This information will help us understand how earthworms are repelled from particular soil areas and could allow earthworm abundance to serve as a bioindicator of soil health.
subject
Chemesthesis
Earthworms
RACE PCR
TRPA1
TRP Channels
TRPM8
contributor
Smith, Karleigh Alyse (author)
Silver, Wayne L (committee chair)
Johnson, Erik C (committee member)
Pratt, Wayne E (committee member)
date
2019-05-24T08:35:53Z (accessioned)
2019-11-23T09:30:33Z (available)
2019 (issued)
degree
Biomedical Science – MS (discipline)
embargo
2019-11-23 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/94001 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
A MOLECULAR INVESTIGATION OF CHEMESTHESIS IN EISENIA HORTENSIS THROUGH ANALYSIS OF TRANSIENT RECEPTOR POTENTIAL CHANNELS
type
Thesis

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