There is a phenotypic change in tail morphology when gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) tadpoles are raised in the presence of feeding dragonfly larvae. This change in tail morphology appears to be induced in response to byproducts released during tadpole predation. These byproducts alter gene expression patterns in tadpoles located in the vicinity. Tadpoles that experience this change in tail morphology have broader, “ flashier” tails than their counterparts, and appear to be less susceptible to predation due to faster swimming ability and the higher probability that a predator will strike the tail instead of the more vital head area. The goal of our summer research was to develop a working protocol for the creation of a cDNA subtraction library in order to isolate and clone genes expressed in H. versicolor tadpoles reared in the presence of the feeding dragonfly larvae predator versus tadpoles raised in the absence of the predator. We produced six cDNA subtraction libraries. To further this research, the cDNA in these libraries can be analyzed using Northern Blots or sequenced to determine which genes are differentially expressed in H. versicolor depending on the presence or absence of the predator.
Angela McCulley, ’07 Topeka, KS
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Melody Roth, ’07 Fort Collins, CO
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, History
Sponsor: Craig Tepper