Publication Date

8-2021

Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

6-30-2021

Type of Culminating Activity

Dissertation

Degree Title

Doctor of Philosophy in Biomolecular Sciences

Department

Biology

Major Advisor

Julia T. Oxford, Ph.D.

Advisor

Matthew Ferguson, Ph.D.

Advisor

Brad Morrison, Ph.D.

Advisor

Allan Albig, Ph.D.

Abstract

The ear is essential to maintaining balance and hearing; both of which can be linked to one another and significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Although aging and damage are more common reasons for hearing loss, congenital ear defects still have a considerable impact on our population. The function of the ear can be affected by structural deformities to the ear and its components which results in hearing loss. Mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding Collagen XI alpha one chain (COL11A1) protein can play a role in hearing and balance dysfunction in humans as seen in disorders such as Stickler Type 2 and Marshall Syndrome, and nonsyndromic hearing loss deafness autosomal dominant 37 (DFNA37). Due to its transparency, external fertilization, the zebrafish model system was used to create a COL11A1 zebrafish counterpart (Col11a1a) knockdown and knockout genetic model. This research highlights the importance of Col11a1a in the development and structure of the inner ear as a whole including the hair cells, kinocilia, and otolith formation. Studying the development and structural changes of the inner ear can provide insight into hearing loss and potential interventions.

DOI

https://10.18122/td.1864.boisestate

Available for download on Tuesday, August 01, 2023

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