Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Biology


Carol Hurney


The process of somitogenesis occurs during embryological development and results in the definition of persisting axial segments. The four toed salamander, Hemidactylium scutatum, exhibits post-embryonic segmentation while most other vertebrates stop segmentation at the end of embryological development. HoxA13, a transcription factor expressed along the developing anteroposterior axis, plays a role in specifying caudal segmental identity, cell ingression into the pre-somitic mesoderm (PSM), and PSM truncation. HoxA13’s responsibilities in influencing embryological development make it an interesting candidate for involvement in post-embryonic segment addition mechanisms. This study explores the role of HoxA13 in tail segmentation in H. scutatum embryonic, larval, and adult tail tip tissues using RT-PCR techniques. The results of this study indicate that HoxA13 is expressed throughout all life stages. Most importantly, these results suggest that HoxA13 determines segment identity during post-embryonic tail segmentation as it is expressed in the tips of H. scutatum larval and adult tails.



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