Home / Science / Scientific and Research Projects 2012–2014 / Optimization of a Semi-quantitative RT-PCR-Method for Analysis of the Transcription Level of Neuronal mRNAs in Drosophila

Research area:   Neurogenetics
Research unit:   Faculty of Biology
Funding institution:   Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria
Project duration:   April 2012 - December 2012
Project leader:   Prof. Ginka Genova


Prof. Genova has been teaching Genetics at the Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", since 1976.


She specialized in Molecular Genetics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, Department of Biochemistry, London, UK (1985-1986); in Neurogenetics - at Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, MA (1993-1994) and at Tufts University, Department of Neuroscience, Boston, USA



The most unexpected manifestation of magnetic activity in ultra cool dwarfs (UCDs) has been the detection radio emission, particularly the periodic 100% circularly polarized pulses. These objects comprise a whole new class of radio sources. The pulses are produced at the poles of a large-scale magnetic field by the electron cyclotron maser (ECM) instability, the same mechanism known to be responsible for the radio emission from the magnetized planets in our solar system and certain classes of solar and stellar bursts.

The project aims to further the understanding of magnetic activity of stellar objects at the bot-tom of the main sequence and beyond. To this end, we have planned detailed studies of the generation and mechanism of radio emission, magnetic field diagnostics, the efficiency with which magnetic fields are generated, rotation rates, dependency of activity on rotation, etc.



The researchers optimized the method of semi-quantitative RT-PCR and studied the relative mRNA-levels of the genes discs large 1 (dlg 1) and scribbled (scrib). They are known to func­tion as cell polarity determinants and are important for maturation and function of synapses. First, the researchers isolated total RNAs from heads of wild type flies and of mutants in which dFMRP was overexpressed. These total RNAs were used to obtain cDNAs which were used for PCR amplification.

In these experiments, the researchers observed increased levels of the mRNAs of dig 1 and scrib in flies, overexpressing dFMRP, as compared to the wild type.

On these grounds, the researchers speculate that dFMRP exerts a positive control at the level of transcription of both genes.






Prof. Ginka Genova

Faculty of Biology

Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"

8 Dragan Tzankov Blvd., 1164 Sofia

e-mail: genova@biofac.uni-sofia.bg