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Publication Date


First Advisor

Laura A. Katz

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biological Sciences


DAPI staining, Nuclear structure, Testate amoeba, Genome, Microscopy, H. papilio, H. elegans


Testate (shell-building) amoebae of the order Arcellinida (Amoebozoa) are microbial eukaryotes that are highly abundant in freshwater ecosystems such as bogs, fens and lakes. Within the microbial community inhabiting these ecosystems, testate amoebae represent top predators. Because of their abundance, high sensitivity to environmental changes and the preservation of their tests in the fossil record, testate amoebae serve as excellent bioindicators of past and present climate change. Although Arcellinida are well studied from a morphological perspective, our knowledge on their genome evolution and genome structures remains very limited, mostly because they cannot be cultivated in the laboratory. To address these challenges, we have successfully adapted protocols for single-cell genomics and transcriptomics. We have characterized transcriptomes and genomes from multiple individuals of Arcellinida using our custom-made pipeline PhyloToL to explore deeper genome evolution. In addition, we are also adapting fluorescence microscopy to estimate genome content and number and structure of nuclei per cell.


©2020 Ketty Munyenyembe. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.


34 pages : color illustrations, color charts. Includes bibliographical references (pages 32-33) Additional appendices attached.