Research

My research lab is studied a Drosophila gene, Acp76A, whose expression is both sex and tissue-specific. It is limited to the male accessory gland of the genital tract. The protein which this gene encodes belongs to the serpin superfamily of serine protease inhibitors and is transferred to females during mating. The goal of the experiments we are currently doing is to obtain mutant alleles of Acp76A, then study the phenotype of flies carrying the mutant alleles. The isolation of mutants which do not produce Acp76A is important in order to establish the functionality of this gene identification of the basic biochemical processes that occur in the female reproductive tract following mating. Drosophila is an excellent system in which to study the role of male proteins transferred to females during mating because of the ease of isolating mutants in specific genes, and the possibility of using mutants to pull out other genes involved in the same biochemical processes and pathways.