Bachelor of Science
Arabidopsis thaliana is a model organism often compared to commercial crops. The completion of sequencing A. thaliana’s genome has led to the next crucial challenge of determining gene function in these plants. The discovery of gene function within these plants will provide insights on how gene function can affect commercial crop production. This work compared wild-type Columbia (Col-O) A. thaliana to single gene mutants VPI/ABI3-like 1 (VAL1) and basic region/leucine zipper motif (bZIP). These single gene mutations may affect several traits that, in turn, can result in morphological changes and/or time of development in seedlings. Wild-type and mutant plants were grown side by side, and we measured the time of bolt and formation of reproductive parts under both similar light intensities and conditions of varying light intensity. Val1 and bZIP67 mutants indicated extended developmental time through a delayed time of bolt as compared to wild-type plants. Under different light intensity ranges measured by photosynthetic photonic flux or PPF, (62-96 PPF, 107-130 PPF, and 117-143 PPF) there was a significant difference in the developmental growth of each plant, mainly in the length of time it took for the plant to bolt. The production of reproductive parts was less within mutant plants (51.45±18.72 reproductive parts for val1 and 54.31±21.4 reproductive parts for bZIP67) as well compared to wild-type (35.05±18.88 reproductive parts), resulting in lower numbers of siliques and flowers after five weeks. This suggests that maturation and overall growth is stunted or prolonged when suppressing genes such as VAL1 and bZIP67 occur in A. thaliana. Both types of mutant plants experienced extended lives as compared to the wild type.
Bekus, CarolAnne, "Evaluating Effects of Gene Mutations and Light Intensity on Arabidopsis thaliana Development" (2018). Undergraduate Theses and Capstone Projects. 62.