Student Theses and Dissertations


Mark Benedyk

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Here I report a molecular and genetic analysis of the pair-rule gene odd-paired (opa). Genetically, opa is essential for the appropriate level and timing of en and wg expression in all parasegments, but opa activity alone does not determine the restricted spatial domains of these genes. I summarize some of the pair-rule circuitry through which opa acts to regulate en and wg expression in parasegment border cells. In addition, I describe how the opa cuticle phenotype is generated by cell signaling interactions between en and wg- expressing cells late in development. I also describe molecular characterization of the opa gene and embryonic expression of opa mRNA and protein. I present models describing how Opa might interact with other pair-rule proteins to regulate target gene expression in the context of the genetic and molecular data described here. Finally, I propose further experiments to address: (1) how opa expression might be controlled, (2) the possible function(s) of Opa expression during different stages of embryogenesis, and (3) specific molecular mechanisms by which Opa might interact with other proteins to directly regulate target gene expression.