Forrest Scene

Student research regarding mutant protein and muscle attachment to be presented at annual forum

Washburn University student Jacob May, of Leon, will present a research poster, "Creating Transgenic Flies for Understanding the Function of the Various Domains of Moleskin in Muscle Attachment and Maintenance," at The Washburn Apeiron:  A Forum of Student Research, Scholarship and Creativity on Friday, April 18.

May is a senior and is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in biology. He is a member of Beta Beta Beta national honor society.

In the research abstract, he noted: "Motility in Drosophila melanogaster is reliant on the exact and highly regulated formation of the myotendinous junction (MTJ) which is a complex process that requires inter-cellular signaling and myofiber migration. Moleskin (msk) is an important protein expressed at the site of the muscle and tendon attachment and is crucial for the formation and function of the MTJ. It has been shown that mutations or deletions in msk affect MTJ formation and can lead to failed muscle attachments. The goal of this project was to produce transgenic flies in order to determine which domains in msk are necessary for the proper formation and upkeep of MTJ. This will be accomplished through a series of crosses using balancer stocks to incorporate msk mutations in Drosophilia melanogaster that do not express endogenous msk. The larvae and embryos from the msk mutants will then be analyzed for muscular defects."

The Apeiron allows students from all disciplines to present their work in an environment that closely resembles the professional conferences and performance venues of their chosen area of study.  Seventy-one students are participating in the forum and entries include poster presentations, oral presentations, exhibitions and performances. To learn more, please visit   


Dena Anson, university relations, 785.670.1711