Characterizing the Effects of Mutations in STM and ATH1 on Floral Organ Development in Arabidopsis thaliana

Malone, Hayden (2018) Characterizing the Effects of Mutations in STM and ATH1 on Floral Organ Development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Sarah Liljegren from Biology, University of Mississippi.

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Understanding the molecular controls involved in plant development is important in understanding plant physiology as a whole, and this knowledge in turn can lead to useful applications in agriculture and industry. This project investigates the roles of two transcription factors, SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) and ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA HOMEOBOX GENE1 (ATH1) in the molecular pathway that creates boundaries between organs in flowers of Arabidopsis thaliana. Mutations in the STM and ATH1 genes prevent formation of basal boundaries between the floral organs and the stem, causing abscission defects in flowers. If the STM and ATH1 genes are also critical for establishing the boundaries between individual floral organs, I expected to see fusion events in mutant flowers. Since STM is involved in maintaining the stem cell populations in shoot and flower meristems, I expected to see stm mutant flowers with fewer organs. If the STM and ATH1 genes have redundant roles in inter-organ boundary formation and SAM maintenance, I expected to see significantly fewer floral organs and more severe fusion phenotypes in double mutant plants. I found that the mutant plants indeed had fusion defects, and these were most commonly found between organs of the same type. Fusion defects and absence of organs were most severe in double mutant plants, suggesting that the ATH1 and STM genes are functionally redundant in these pathways.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Malone, Hayden
Student's Degree Program(s): BS Biology
Thesis Advisor: Sarah Liljegren
Thesis Advisor's Department: Biology
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Depositing User: Hayden Malone
Date Deposited: 15 May 2018 20:01
Last Modified: 15 May 2018 20:01

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