Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Rachel O'Neill, Ph.D.; Craig Nelson, Ph.D.

Field of Study

Genetics and Genomics


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Desert hedgehog (DHH) belongs to the hedgehog gene family that act as secreted intercellular signal transducers. DHH is an essential morphogen for normal testicular development and function in both mice and humans but is not present in the avian lineage. Like other hedgehog proteins, DHH signals through the patched (PTCH) receptors 1 and 2. Here we examine the expression and protein distribution of DHH, PTCH1 and PTCH2 in the developing testes of a marsupial mammal (the tammar wallaby) to determine whether DHH signalling is a conserved factor in gonadal development in all therian mammals.

Major Advisor

Andrew J. Pask, Ph.D.