Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2019


Many thermoregulatory functions of mammals are related to the fact that they are endotherms. There are several morphological and physiological adaptations that mammals have developed over time to allow them to maintain internal heat, even in cold climates. Many mammals use UCP1, a protein that facilities non-shivering thermogenesis, to generate heat. Recent work has shown that despite UCP1’s importance for non-shivering thermogenesis, inactivating mutations have occurred in at least 8 of 18 placental orders (Gaudry et al. 2017). My study focused on three species of Bornean treeshrews: Tupaia tana, Tupaia montana, and Tupaia minor (Order: Scandentia), and aimed to confirm whether or not the three tropical treeshrews show evidence of UCP1. I used Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and designed primer sets to analyze the tissues of Tupaia montana and Tupaia minor to determine if either show evidence of UCP1. I searched the genome of Tupaia tana using the computer software, BLAST, and generated a potential protein sequence for UCP1. I designed primer sets based on areas of conservation in UCP1 for Tupaia tana, Tupaia belangeri, and mouse, though the bands produced in gel electrophoresis were not significant. My results present preliminary data and methodology to determine if tropical treeshrew species have functional UCP1. My study progresses our understanding of thermoregulation by addressing how mammalian taxa adapt to their unique thermal niches and to differing environmental factors.

Included in

Biology Commons