Madeline M. Brinkman


Presentation: 9:00-10:15, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Osteopilus septentrionalis, the Cuban tree frog, is a frog species that possesses upper jaw teeth but lacks mandibular teeth as an adult and is emerging as a new model organism for amphibian dental research. Through my research, I am evaluating the development and genetics of teeth in O. septentrionalis from late-stage tadpoles to froglets in order to increase our understanding of the underlying gene signals responsible for the formation of amphibian teeth, as well as the evolutionary loss and regain of complex traits. I am evaluating the presence and absence of core tooth development genes that indicate the induction and formation of teeth on the developing upper and lower jaws of O. septentrionalis. Several different genes of interest are being studied during the morphogenesis of teeth in order to investigate possible mechanisms for the re-evolution of lost mandibular teeth in G. guentheri, a species that was last seen in the wild in 1996 and is feared to be now extinct. Histology and in situ hybridization experiments will be conducted in order to answer these questions and better understand broad-scale patterns of dental diversity in frogs.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project - BIO 421 P1

Primary Advisor

Daniel J. Paluh

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Evaluating the Developmental Evidence for the Re-Evolution of Lost Mandibular Teeth in Frogs