Amy Cash

I am interested in studying gene expression differences that occur during the maturation of a Drosophila egg. An egg goes through 14 distinct stages at it matures within an ovary. During these stages, many important biological processes are occurring, such as cell differentiation, pattern formation, and cell migration. A technique called laser capture microdissection (LCM) allows us to selectively isolate a particular stage, and we can then use microarrays to examine the gene expression patterns of that stage. Using LCM and microarrays, we can isolate developing eggs at all of the various stages and construct a timeline of gene expression differences in the developing egg.

An Example of Laser Capture Microdissection from a 12 um section of a Drosophila ovary. Ovaries were dissected from adult female flies, frozen, and sectioned onto glass slides. The sections were dehydrated and examined under fluorescent microscopy. In this instance, laser capture microdissection was used to capture a stage 5 egg chamber.