Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biology/Molecular, Cellular, and Organismal Biology

First Advisor

Linda S. Huang

Second Advisor

Katherine Gibson

Third Advisor

Michael Shiaris


The size and shape of a membrane is an important determinant in cell morphology. My work focuses on how membrane size and shape is determined, using the budding yeast S. cerevisiae as a model. During sporulation in S. cerevisiae, the diploid cell remodels its interior such that four spores are formed within an ascus. During this remodeling process, the prospore membrane is synthesized de novo and grows to surround each of the meiotic products. The prospore membrane is a double lipid bilayer and ultimately determines the sizes and shapes of the newly formed spores. My work focuses on the Pleckstrin homology domain protein Spo71 and its role in determining the size and shape of the prospore membrane. We have found that SPO71 is required for proper development of the prospore membrane. Cells lacking SPO71 have prospore membranes that are smaller than wild type cells and mislocalize septins, which are filament forming structural proteins. We have identified other genes that interact with SPO71, including SPO1, a putative phospholipase-B, and, SPO73. These genetic relationships provide important insight into the understanding of how various conserved domain-containing genes regulate membrane shape.

Included in

Biology Commons