Date of Award

8-2014

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

Josiah Townsend, Ph.D.

Abstract

The avoiding reaction in Paramecium is a brief motion that results in a change in the membrane potential. This behavior can be studied in Paramecium to hypothesize the role of the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in the regulation of an ultradian rhythm. In order to accomplish that, the study attempts to manipulate the function of mitochondria to increase the generation of ROS by using different concentrations of oligomycin. It was found that high concentrations of oligomycin disrupted the ultradian rhythm in Paramecium; however, reducing the concentration of oligomycin leads to a delay in the disruption of the ultradian rhythm. Moreover, both oligomycin and hydrogen peroxide are show a reversible effect when the Paramecium is transferred into its normal media. The results indicate that ROS molecules and mitochondria have a role in regulating a biological rhythm. These results are the first report of regulation of an ultradian rhythm by ROS.

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