Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Robert Hinrichsen, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Megan Knoch, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jeffery Larkin, Ph.D.

Abstract

Paramecium tetraurelia are known to exhibit avoiding reactions (brief periods of backward swimming) in response to environmental stimuli that oscillate with a period of 61 minutes, indicating an underlying ultradian clock. The addition of various concentrations of KN-62, a drug known to inhibit CaMKII activity, disrupts the ultradian rhythm, decreasing the periodicity from 61 to 21 minutes and delays the increase in the frequency of avoiding reactions (the circadian rhythm) from 700 minutes in the control data to between 900-1050 minutes. RNA interference of the CaMKII gene also shortened the periodicity of the ultradian clock from 61 to 21 minutes and delayed the circadian rhythm from 710 minutes in the control to between 910-1050 minutes. These results indicate that CaMKII plays an important role in the regulation of these biological rhythms, and is the first study to show that CaMKII is involved in the regulation of ultradian rhythms.

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