Presentation Title

A transgenic approach to testing functional divergence of stress-responsive GROWTH REGULATORY FACTOR genes across flowering plants

Presenter's Name(s)

Haley Rowlands, UVMFollow

Abstract

There is great interest in discovering genes involved in the control of flowering time such that crops can be modified to increase yield and keep pace with climate change. In the model temperate grass (Poaceae) Brachypodium distachyon, GROWTH REGULATORY FACTOR 14h (BdGF14h) has recently been discovered to control flowering time under drought conditions. The distantly related temperate species Arabidopsis thaliana (mustard family, Brassicaceae) has three copies of this gene (AtGRF9-11), but instead of being affected in flowering time, grf9 mutants in particular are unable to elongate their roots to the same extent as wild type plants during drought. To determine if these different phenotypes are due to evolution within the coding regions of BdGF14h versus AtGRF9-11, or alternatively due to the different genetic contexts of grasses and mustards, I intend to construct and ­­­­compare the phenotypes of A. thaliana gf9 mutants expressing AtGRF9, AtGRF10, or BdGF14h.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Jill Preston

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Plant Biology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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A transgenic approach to testing functional divergence of stress-responsive GROWTH REGULATORY FACTOR genes across flowering plants

There is great interest in discovering genes involved in the control of flowering time such that crops can be modified to increase yield and keep pace with climate change. In the model temperate grass (Poaceae) Brachypodium distachyon, GROWTH REGULATORY FACTOR 14h (BdGF14h) has recently been discovered to control flowering time under drought conditions. The distantly related temperate species Arabidopsis thaliana (mustard family, Brassicaceae) has three copies of this gene (AtGRF9-11), but instead of being affected in flowering time, grf9 mutants in particular are unable to elongate their roots to the same extent as wild type plants during drought. To determine if these different phenotypes are due to evolution within the coding regions of BdGF14h versus AtGRF9-11, or alternatively due to the different genetic contexts of grasses and mustards, I intend to construct and ­­­­compare the phenotypes of A. thaliana gf9 mutants expressing AtGRF9, AtGRF10, or BdGF14h.