Faculty Advisor

Politz, Samuel M.


In C. elegans, the gene bli-3 codes for Duox1, a protein in the NADPH oxidase (Nox) family responsible for cuticle cross-linking. In order to determine if Duox is important in C. elegans host defense, both available bli-3 mutants and C. elegans subjected to RNAi knockdown of bli-3 were exposed to yeast pathogens, and survival assays were performed. One of the bli-3 mutants and the whole body bli-3 RNAi knockout worms showed a significant decrease in survival when exposed to Candida. This indicates that bli-3 does play an immune role in C. albicans infections. Tissue-specific RNAi knockdown was performed in order to determine where this immune function is localized, and knockdowns had similar effects regardless of the tissue.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology