Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



Biomphalaria glabrata is an intermediate host for a parasitic species, Schistosoma mansoni, which can infect humans causing schistosomiasis. The majority of research conducted on these snails focuses on host-parasite relationships. Thus, very little is known regarding their nervous system, especially during embryonic and juvenile development. This project aims to investigate the transition from the embryonic nervous system consisting of a network of neurons to a developed ganglionic nervous system consisting of a separation between clusters of nerve cell bodies, or ganglia, and connectives. To investigate when this process, known as gangliogenesis, occurs, immunofluorescence is used to visualize the serotonergic nervous system at various ages, thus, providing a better understanding of the timeline in which this process occurs. This study, additionally, aims to discern changes in gene expression throughout embryonic and early juvenile development by identifying differential gene expression patterns through RNA sequencing. Though we will be doing the transcriptome analysis with whole embryos and juveniles rather than just the isolated nervous system, we hypothesize that we will still be able to identify transcripts associated with the nervous system and its development. This process will also allow for the identification of candidate genes putatively involved in gangliogenesis in B. glabrata.

Level of Honors

cum laude




Judith Humphries

Available for download on Saturday, June 08, 2024

Included in

Biology Commons