Date of Award

5-10-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Walter Wilczynski

Abstract

The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) is a valuable animal model for examining social behaviors and aggression in lizards. These vetebraes have been widely used in studies to analyze behavior and aggression, however, new aims are developing that focus on epigenetic manipulation for gene methylation. Epigenetic changes in gene methylation shifts the availability of DNA transcription. In our study we aim to propose that a change in gene methylation will impact the social behaviors that green anole lizards use to establish dominant-subordinate relationships. This aim has two experiments. Experiment one uses the drug Zebularine which is a methylation blocker, while in experiment two the drug L-Methionine causes an increase in gene methylation. The overall results of this study show that changes in gene methylation impacts social behavior. An increase in gene methylation caused more aggressive bouts, while the preliminary results suggest that a decrease in gene methylation stimulated less aggression.

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