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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Graduate Studies

Genetics, Cellular & Molecular Sciences Training Grant

Trainee Profile

Christopher Puccia

Photo of Christopher Puccia
Research Image(s)

yeast cells

Nutritive media was added to meiotic cells that had progressed beyond the meiotic commitment point. TOP: Wild-type yeast cell appropriately continues to undergo meiosis, shown here in Anaphase II. BOTTOM: A yeast cell mutant for lowered expression of NDT80, a key meiotic regulator. This cell undergoes the first meiotic division, then inappropriately returns-to-growth and buds, creating a daughter cell with one nucleus and leaving the mother cell with three nuclei. Green labels tubulin and red labels the spindle pole bodies.

Graduate Student
Contact Information
JH A315
Lacefield Lab website
Department of Biology:
Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
B.S. Biology, 2010, Gonzaga University
Floyd Plant and Fungal Biology Summer Fellowship, Indiana University, (2014)
NIH Training Grant in Molecular, Cellular, and Molecular Sciences (2014-2016)
Research Description

Diploid budding yeast cells will undergo two meiotic divisions when exposed to starvation conditions, resulting in four haploid spores.  In a process called return-to-growth, if nutrient media is provided to the cells while undergoing meiosis, they will exit meiosis and enter mitosis, provided they have not progressed past the meiotic commitment point.  Upon reaching the meiotic commitment point, previously demonstrated to be during prometaphase I, cells will continue to finish meiosis even if they are subjected to nutritive growth conditions.  If cells inappropriately return-to-growth after this meiotic commitment point, an increase in genome copy number can result.

The pathways that control the meiotic divisions are primarily regulated by phosphorylation.  Because of this, I am interested in identifying the kinases specifically responsible for maintaining meiotic commitment.  Using live fluorescent microscopy and microfluidics, nutritive media and other small molecules are flown into cells undergoing the meiotic divisions, allowing me to assess meiotic commitment in various genetic backgrounds.   

Select Publications
Covo, S., Puccia, C. M., Argueso, J. L., Gordenin, D. A., & Resnick, M. A. (2013). The Sister Chromatid Cohesion Pathway Suppresses Multiple Chromosome Gain and Chromosome Amplification. Genetics, genetics-113.159.202
Zhang, H., Zeidler, A. F., Song, W., Puccia, C. M., Malc, E., Greenwell, P. W., Mieczkowski, P. A., Petes, T. D., & Argueso, J. L. (2013). Gene copy-number variation in haploid and diploid strains of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics, 193(3), 785-801.
Shea, J., Kersten, G. J., Puccia, C. M., Stanton, A. T., Stiso, S. N., Helgeson, E. S., & Back, E. J. (2012). The use of parasites as indicators of ecosystem health as compared to insects in freshwater lakes of the Inland Northwest. Ecological Indicators, 13(1), 184-188.
Select Presentations
Puccia et al. (2014) Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Sciences Training Grant Symposium. “A Microfluidics Approach to Identifying Genes Involved in Meiotic Commitment.” Poster.

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