Project properties

Title The Womanizer transcription factor and how it determines sex in the wasp Nasonia vitripennis
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) F. Guerra (ENT), E. Verhulst (ENT)
Examiner(s) Marcel Dicke (ENT)
Contact info
Begin date 2020/01/31
End date 2021/02/28
Description In the most studied parasitoid wasp, Nasonia vitripennis, the mother is able to control the sex of her offspring. If she lays an unfertilised egg, this will develop into a haploid male, if she fertilises the egg, it will develop into a diploid female. This is due to the fact that the sperm provides an active form of Womaniser, a transcription factor that promotes the early expression of other genes in the embryos, initiating a cascading pathway that will affect every single aspect of the biology of this wasp. To understand in detail how Womanizer regulates embryo development it is of primary importance to define its binding site on the genome.
In this project you will:
- produce Womanizer in heterologous expression system;
- confirm the activity of heterologous Womanizer via ReMOT technology;
- find Womanizer binding sites with DAP-sequencing;
- engineer Womanizer binding sites with CRISPR-Cas

The project is based in the Laboratory of Entomology, and needs a student with a strong background in molecular biology.
For more details about Nasonia and about the techniques used in this project, scan the QR code or send me an email!
Used skills Heterologous expression of proteins, cloning, microinjection, a bit of computational biology (sequencing data analysis), possibly genetic engineering of insects.
Requirements For doing a BSc-thesis at Entomology, there are no requirements for specific courses.
For doing a MSc-thesis or internship at Entomology, the following requirements apply: ENT-30806 + a second ENT-course (preferably ENT-30306 or ENT-50806 or ENT-53806). As an alternative for the second ENT-course, PHP-30806 or BHE-30306 can be selected.
Note: these requirements do not apply for MBI students; MBI students should check the requirements for doing an ENT MSc-thesis or internship in the study programme of their specialisation.