Brachyury is a transcription factor that has been determined to be an essential component in the course of sea urchin embryonic development. We know that it is expressed at both the blastopore and stomodael opening of the embryo, but inactivates in cells that leave those respective areas. Additionally, in its absence gastrulation does not occur. What makes this protein so integral to these morphogenetic movements, however, remains a mystery. We hope to find an answer to this question by examining how brachyury plays a role in gene transcription and protein synthesis. In this study, we will be investigating a number of genes known to be associated with the formative stage of gastrulation and analyzing the change in their expression with brachyury both present and knocked down. Through in-situ hybridization, we will observe the location and expression patterns of each gene in regards to the presence of brachyury, and use that information to draw associations. We hope to eventually generate a detailed and extensive gene regulatory network on the brachyury gene in order to establish a deeper understanding of the processes that prompt its behavior. 

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