Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Terry

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy Brush

Third Advisor

Dr. Megan Keniry


Most phylogenetic research within the insect phylogeny is focused on higher order taxons. Therefore, to better understand insect wing and flight origin, genetic studies on more primitive insect orders is necessary. Odonata, the order including dragonflies, is one of the earliest insect taxa to develop wings. Hox genes are highly conserved regulatory genes involved in embryonic development of organisms. Hox gene expression studies in insects allow improved insight of body plan development including wings. Embryonic development of dragonfly, Tramea onusta, was analyzed at various developmental stages. Developmental genes Antennapedia, Distal-less, Ultrabithorax, abdominal-A, Abdominal-B, engrailed, Cadual, engrailed 2, Wingless, nubbin, fringe, notch, and Sex combs reduced were identified from T. onusta transcriptome sequences. Fluorescent in situ hybridization probes were made using Distal-less, wingless, engrailed, and Cadual, and engrailed 2. Embryonic gene signaling was then visualized resulting in germ band recognition at various developmental stages but showed non-specific background signaling, as well.


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