The Function of CLS-2 in Segregation Dynamics of Male Sperm Meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans

Author: Emma Harms

Faculty Supervisor: Diana Chu

Department: Biology

10-15% of all couples in the US will experience fertility issues, one third of which is solely due to male reproductive issues. Many cases of unsuccessful reproduction occur because of the mis-segregation of germ cells, specifically due to malfunctions of facilitating proteins. One protein, CLS-2, promotes microtubule stability, but in its absence can cause infertility. Using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, we have observed a distinct, sperm-specific localization of CLS-2 around the chromosomes throughout the segregation process. This is in opposition to the localization we see in oocyte and mitotic division where CLS-2 localizes to the central spindle and midzone, dissipating after the central spindle is fully formed. We hypothesize that CLS-2 mediates the movement and timing dynamics of division by stabilizing the lagging X associated microtubules we see during male sperm meiosis. We aim to quantify the segregation mechanics of sperm meiosis through fluorescent imaging and, using Auxin degradation, observe functions in the absence of CLS-2. We expect to see varying failed division in the absence of CLS-2 and a significant difference in motion mechanics over the course of division compared to the wild-type which could explain the infertile phenotype exhibited.