Date of Award

Fall 1996

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Waring, Gail L.

Second Advisor

Fredericks, Walter W.

Third Advisor

Kumaran, A. K.


Fundamental to developmental biology is the formation of extracellular matrices around living cells. These structures are heteropolymeric complexes derived from the interactions and assembly of secreted components. The tissue-specific composition of each matrix influen~ its three-dimensional architecture and may impact the physiology of matrix-contacted cells. The multilayered, multifunctional Drosophila eggshell is an excellent model system in which to study the interrelationships between composition, ultrastructure, and functions of a matrix, for in this system the production of biochemically aberrant eggshells often results in structural deformations and female sterility. Hence, toward understanding eggshell function during reproduction in the fly, as well as toward characterizing general features of supramolecular protein assembly, this research focused on examining the molecular roles played by four individual protein components of the stratified Drosophila eggshell matrix.



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