Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Eric A. Guisbert

Second Advisor

Melissa A. Borgen

Third Advisor

Brooke E. Wheeler

Fourth Advisor

Andrew D. Knight


Exposure to chronic temperature stress influences organismal phenotypes that are important for human health, agriculture, and ecology. In this thesis, the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was used to study the effects of temperature stress on reproduction and lifespan. It was found that worms demonstrated a rapid shut down in egg-laying between 18-24 hours of exposure to 28°C. Despite this reproductive defect, the overall lifespan of worms was unaffected. At the molecular level, heat shock factor 1 (HSF-1), a regulator of the protective molecular pathway known as the heat shock response (HSR), was identified as important for progeny production during heat stress and recovery of fecundity and lifespan after heat stress. The GAL4-UAS system established in C. elegans (cGAL) was utilized to generate worms with tissue-specific HSF-1 overexpression in order to determine which tissues were relevant for this protection.


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