College of Arts and Sciences
The original eyes absent gene was first located in Drosophila (fruit fly) and its crucial role in embryological sensorial development has stimulated research which has been conducted on this family of genes in mouse, frog, chick and human. Dr. Martin Offield isolated Eya1, 2 and 3 in Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) in Rob Grainger's lab at the University of Virginia (Personal communication). The present study was a follow up study using the process of in situ hybridization to record the expression patterns of these genes using embryos at various stages of development. After a staining procedure, embryos were photographed as whole mounts and histology was used to view the gene expression in different tissue layers. Further study was conducted to locate an Eya4 gene in Xenopus by searching large DNA databases using mouse and human Eya4 protein sequences. Eya1 in Xenopus tropicalis was also located using the same search techniques.