Marie Baldenius

Genetic analysis of wrapping glia differentiation in Drosophila

Nerve conduction velocity is crucial for fast and timely reactions of the animal. In Drosophila, wrapping glial cells mediate axonal ensheathment resembling vertebrate Remak fibres. Wrapping defects lead to reduced conductance velocity and disturbed larval locomotion. However, how differentiation of wrapping glial cells is controlled is not fully understood. It was previously shown that the large transmembrane protein Uninflatable is required for full FGF receptor signalling. In addition, it was shown that loss of wrapping glial cells reduces the nerve conduction velocity and induces a specific larval locomotion phenotype in third instar larvae.

During my PhD, I want to examine how uif influences wrapping glia differentiation and identify further genes involved in this process using larval locomotion behavior as a functional readout.