'Epigenetics of meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin.'

INSTRUCTIONS - PROFESSORS: Fill out Sections A & B then submit this form online. (You will receive an email copy of the form. The Office for Undergraduate Research in Science will also post the project online, indicating whether the project is open for students to apply or taken.) DONE

INSTRUCTIONS - STUDENTS: You may receive this form by email, or you may download it after it has been posted. Either way, print this form. Complete and sign Section C on the hardcopy. Ask your supervisor to sign Section D. Take it to the department corresponding to the course number in Section A (this may or may not be your own department). Do not register for a '396' course on Minerva until you receive departmental permission.

INSTRUCTIONS - DEPARTMENTS: After the unit chair/director/designate approves (or not) this project, notify student. If approved, please give student permission to register on Minerva, and fax this form (with signatures) to the Office for Undergraduate Research in Science.

QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK? Contact Victor Chisholm by email, or phone 514-398-5964.


Name: Anna Naoumova and Teruko Taketo

Email: anna.naoumova [at] mcgill.ca (anna dot naoumova at mcgill dot ca)

Phone: 514-934-1934 x35906


Supervisors' departments: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Human Genetics (A.N.); Surgery/Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Biology (T.T.)

Course number: BIOL396 (Biology)


Term: Winter 2010-2011

Project start date: January 8, 2011

Project end date: April 8, 2011

Project title: Epigenetics of meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin

Project description: During mammalian meiotic prophase I homologous chromosomes pair and synapse. Chromosomal synapsis is critical for recombination and correct segregation of chromosomes during meiotic divisions. Unsynapsed regions contain unrepaired double strand breaks (DSB) and are transcriptionally silent. This phenomenon is termed meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin (MSUC). Normally, MSUC occurs during male meiosis, repressing genes on the unsynapsed portions of the X and Y chromosomes.

Chromosomal translocations prevent or delay synapsis in the regions adjacent to the translocation breakpoint, induce accumulation of γH2AX and presumably transcriptional repression of part of the translocated chromosome and its homologs. It has been hypothesized that the consequences of asynapsis depend upon the function of genes located near the translocation breakpoint. If these genes are essential for spermatogenesis, for example, the translocation carriers are likely to have spermatogenic arrest and be infertile.

This project will investigate the epigenetic marks of meiotic silencing associated with unsynapsed chromosomes and explore the possibility of using chromosomal rearrangements as a tool to study gene function during meiosis.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Other prerequisite, if applicable: BIOL303

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): 50% final report, 50% laboratory

Other project information:

Project status - This project is: Taken.

How students can apply: Bring a printed copy of this application form and your advising transcript to me during office hours. Then, after all parts of this application form are completed, bring this application form and your unofficial transcript to Susan Gabe (Stewart Biology W3/25B) or Nancy Nelson (W3/25) during office hours.

Ethics, safety, and training

Which of the following, if any, is involved? One or more of the following

Animal subjects [x]

Human subjects [ ]

Biohazardous substances [ ]

Radioactive materials [ ]

Handling chemicals [ ]

Using lasers [ ]

Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students.


Do not complete this section unless/until the student is identified.


McGill ID:

Email (first.last [at] mail.mcgill.ca):


Program (E.g., B.Sc. Maj. Chem. Min. Biol.):

Level (U0 / U1 / U2 / U3):

Student signature - I have not applied for another '396' course in this term:


Do not complete this section unless/until the student is identified.

Supervisor: I give my permission for the student identified in section C to register for this project under my supervision.

Supervisor's signature:


Unit chair/director/designate: I certify that this project conforms to departmental requirements for 396 courses.

Unit chair/director/designate's name:

Unit chair/director/designate's signature: