Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2018

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Rachel O’Neill; Zachary Duda

Honors Major

Molecular and Cell Biology


Biology | Genetics | Life Sciences


Using a combination of Sanger sequencing and RNA-seq data, this project aims to determine the nucleotide and amino acid sequence of Centromere Protein B (CENP-B), an important protein involved in the assembly of the kinetochore protein complex at the centromere, in several species of marsupials, specifically wallabies. Despite their recent evolutionary history, these species have been shown to have surprisingly divergent centromeric DNA sequences. Through comparative analysis of these sequences, this project, along with analysis of several other CENPs, aims to determine if this divergence extends to the proteins closely associated with these sequences and possibly even further into the kinetochore complex. In addition, the discovery of the sequence of CENP-B in these rapidly evolving species could provide some insight into the structure and exact function of the protein, which is still somewhat unclear. Finally, possession of the sequence data in these wallaby species will lay the groundwork for future studies into the function and evolution of CENP-B and other associated proteins.