Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Alicia Ebert


zebrafish, eye, development, plexin, semaphorin


Plexin (PLXN) receptors, and their ligands, semaphorins (SEMAs), traditionally mediate axon growth in the visual system by facilitating actin cytoskeletal rearrangements and initiating growth cone collapse through intracellular signaling mechanisms. A proposed novel mechanism for the development of the early eye involves the interaction of SEMA6A and PLXNA2 to direct migration and proliferation of retinal precursor cells (Ebert et al., 2014). However, this model is not fully explained by previous data; we propose that a related PLXNA family member, PLXNA1a, also plays a role in these processes. This research uses in situ hybridization and antisense morpholino gene knockdown to identify the expression and preliminary functional role of the uncharacterized PLXNA1a receptor in early zebrafish eye development. We hypothesize that plexinA1a is expressed in the same neuronal tissues as plexinA2 and has a compensatory or parallel function.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.