Eukaryotes use proteins to carefully package and compact their genomes to fit into the nuclei of their individual cells. Nucleosomes are the primary level of compaction. Nucleosomes are formed when DNA wraps around an octamer of histone proteins and a nucleosome's position can limit access to genetic regulatory elements. Therefore, nucleosomes represent a basic level of gene regulation. DNA and its associated proteins, called chromatin, is usually classified as euchromatin or heterochromatin. Euchromatin is transcriptionally active with loosely packed nucleosomes while heterochromatin is condensed with tightly packed nucleosomes and is transcriptionally silent. In order to become active, heterochromatin must first be remodeled. We have studied the effects of nucleosome positioning on transgene expression in vivo using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model. We show that both location and polarity of the DNA sequence can influence transgene expression. We also discuss some considerations for working with CRISPR/Cas9. A major reason for doing in vitro nucleosome reconstitutions is to determine the effects of DNA sequence on nucleosome formation and position. It has previously been implied that nucleosome reconstitutions are stochastic and not very reproducible. We show that nucleosome reconstitutions are highly reproducible under our reaction conditions. Our results also indicate that a minimum depth of 35X sequencing coverage be maintained for maximal gains in Pearson's correlation coefficients. Communicating science with others is an important skill for any researcher. The rising generation of scientists need mentors who can teach them how to be independent thinkers who can carry out scientific experiments and communicate their finding to others. With this goal in mind, we have devised a scaffolding pedagogical method to help transform undergraduates into confident independent thinkers and researchers.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Microbiology and Molecular Biology



Date Submitted


Document Type





nucleosome, CRISPR/Cas9, Caenorhabditis elegans

Included in

Microbiology Commons