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Brachypodium Distachyon Gnrf, Swam1 And Swam4 Are Transcriptional Regulators Of Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis, Sandra Romero-Gamboa Jul 2019

Brachypodium Distachyon Gnrf, Swam1 And Swam4 Are Transcriptional Regulators Of Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis, Sandra Romero-Gamboa

Doctoral Dissertations

Plant cell walls are complex structures that contain a matrix of cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose. The regulation of the biosynthesis of these components has been well-studied in the eudicot plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and a transcriptional network has been elucidated. Several NAC and MYB family transcription factors are key regulators of secondary cell wall biosynthesis, and their functional characterization provides significant insight into the complex underlying transcriptional network. Genetic and structural evidence suggests that genes controlling this process might be different between eudicots and monocots. Here, the model grass Brachypodium distachyon has been selected to characterize the function of GNRF (GRASS ...


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Pollinators As Vectors Of Mummy Berry Disease In Highbush Blueberry, Matthew Boyer Mar 2019

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Pollinators As Vectors Of Mummy Berry Disease In Highbush Blueberry, Matthew Boyer

Doctoral Dissertations

Background: Many plants must balance the need for pollination services with mediating the risk of pollinator-vectored pathogens. Vaccinium corymbosum, highbush blueberry, is negatively affected by an insect-vectored, fungal plant pathogen, Monilinia vaccinii-corymosi (MVC), the cause of mummy berry disease, in which the asexual spore mimics pollen grains and is transferred from blighted tissue to flowers via pollinators, resulting in inedible, hardened fruits. Highbush blueberry plants require outcrossed pollen for maximum yield and fecundity. Therefore, yield of blueberry plants rely on a balance between adequate pollination service and disease avoidance.

Approach: To explore the relationship between pollinator community and infection we ...


Variation And Evolution Of Fruit Ripening Traits In Tomato Species, Ian M. Gillis Oct 2018

Variation And Evolution Of Fruit Ripening Traits In Tomato Species, Ian M. Gillis

Doctoral Dissertations

As angiosperm seeds mature within their ovaries, ovary tissue tends to grow and transform itself into fruit, which aids the success of the seeds. Fruits that are fleshy provide numerous ways to aid in the protection and the dispersal of seeds. First, they keep seeds hidden, encased in hard walls, surrounded by poisons and unpalatable compounds, and second, they undergo developmental changes that facilitate seeds’ release. Tomatoes, a model fleshy fruit, have all these protective traits, and over the course of ripening they become the familiar fruit that is a staple crop around the world. The wild relatives of cultivated ...


Grass-Specific Mechanisms Of Iron Uptake: Investigation Of Phytosiderophore Transporters And Discovery Of Novel Iron Deficiency Loci, David Chan Rodriguez Oct 2018

Grass-Specific Mechanisms Of Iron Uptake: Investigation Of Phytosiderophore Transporters And Discovery Of Novel Iron Deficiency Loci, David Chan Rodriguez

Doctoral Dissertations

Iron-deficiency anemia is one of the most prevalent forms of malnutrition worldwide, affecting 1.62 billion people, with the population in developing countries being the most affected. Iron is equally vital in plants to perform essential functions such as photosynthesis. Crop grasses form part of everyday human nutrition, contribute fundamentally to human caloric intake, and, in some parts of the world, are the primary source of food. Grasses acquire iron from the soil by secreting chelator molecules called phytosiderophores to solubilize iron, making it available to be transported by the Yellow Stripe1 (YS1) transporter.

In this dissertation, I studied aspects ...


The Interplay Between Polarity Regulators, Calcium, And The Actin Cytoskeleton During Tip Growth, Carlisle Bascom Jr Oct 2018

The Interplay Between Polarity Regulators, Calcium, And The Actin Cytoskeleton During Tip Growth, Carlisle Bascom Jr

Doctoral Dissertations

Plant cell growth is a meticulously regulated process whereby the cell wall is selectively loosened to allow for turgor-pressure driven expansion. The rate of expansion must equal delivery of new material, or the cell will lyse. In many plant cells, this process happens diffusely around the cell. However, a number of plant cells have anisotropic shapes that require exquisite spatial control of secretion. One simple example of anisotropic patterning is tip growth; highly polarized cell expansion utilized by pollen tubes, root hairs, and moss protonemata. Investigating the role various molecules have in tip growth sheds light on how plant cells ...


Uncovering Tasselsheath3. A Genomic And Phenotypic Analysis Of A Maize Floral Mutant., Thompson Zhang Oct 2017

Uncovering Tasselsheath3. A Genomic And Phenotypic Analysis Of A Maize Floral Mutant., Thompson Zhang

Masters Theses

In the modern era, maize has become the most successful crop grown in the United States. According to the USDA over 90 million acres of land are planted to corn and 96.2% of the U.S feed grain production is made up of the cereal. Part of the success of maize is due to its floral architecture, and its pollination technique in which the flower opens, exposing stamens containing pollen into the air. A unique organ called the lodicule functions as a release mechanism, forcing the flower to open. Lodicules from grasses and eudicot petals are homologous, yet there ...


The Key Question In Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation: How Does Host Maintain A Bacterial Symbiont?, Onur Oztas Jul 2017

The Key Question In Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation: How Does Host Maintain A Bacterial Symbiont?, Onur Oztas

Doctoral Dissertations

The fact that plants cannot use nitrogen in the gaseous form makes them dependent on the levels of usable nitrogen forms in the soil. Legumes overcome nitrogen limitation by entering a symbiotic association with rhizobia, soil bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen into usable ammonia. In root nodules, bacteria are internalized by host plant cells inside an intracellular compartment called the symbiosome where they morphologically differentiate into nitrogen-fixing forms by symbiosome-secreted host proteins.

In this project, I explained the host proteins required to maintain bacterial symbionts and described their delivery to the symbiosome. I showed that the SYNTAXIN 132 (SYP132) gene ...


Uncovering The Genetic Basis For Biofuel-Related Traits In Brachypodium Distachyon, Scott J. Lee Nov 2016

Uncovering The Genetic Basis For Biofuel-Related Traits In Brachypodium Distachyon, Scott J. Lee

Doctoral Dissertations

Biofuels derived from plant biomass present a promising avenue to address the negative aspects of fossil-fuel dependence. The sustainability of biofuel production relies in part on the efficient degradation of lignocellulosic feedstocks. In order to capitalize on the potential of lignocellulosic biofuels, the genes underlying natural genetic variation for conversion efficiency must be determined. We have developed a robust and high-throughput assay to measure feedstock quality using the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium phytofermentans. We have measured biomass accumulation phenotypes and utilized this assay to perform quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in the model grass species ...


Iron Signaling In Arabidopsis Thaliana, Celina Abundis Nov 2016

Iron Signaling In Arabidopsis Thaliana, Celina Abundis

Masters Theses

Iron is among the essential micronutrients for all living organisms and is a cofactor for many cellular redox reactions. Although iron is a highly abundant metal element found in the earth’s crust, it is also a limiting factor in plant development when it is present as insoluble ferric oxides. Plants have evolved two strategies to acquire soluble iron referred to as Strategy I and Strategy II. Our lab has focused on the Arabidopsis thaliana double mutant ysl1ysl3. The mutants display a chlorotic phenotype and are unable to correctly respond to iron deficiency.

Grafting is a common method for joining ...


Chemically Mediated Interactions Between Hosts, Parasitic Plants And Insect Herbivores, Muvari C. Tjiurutue Jul 2016

Chemically Mediated Interactions Between Hosts, Parasitic Plants And Insect Herbivores, Muvari C. Tjiurutue

Doctoral Dissertations

Species interactions, by changing phenotypic traits, can alter the outcome of subsequent interactions. Plant-mediated responses to herbivores have been extensively studied, but little is known about plant-mediated responses involving parasitic plants within a broader community context that also includes herbivores. Because parasitic plants are important components of many ecosystems and can shape community structure, it is important to understand how host-mediated interactions influence parasite preference and success. The goal of this thesis is to examine interactions between hosts, parasitic plants and herbivores mediated by chemical traits. We first examined the effects of dodder (Cuscuta sp.) parasitism on induced defenses in ...


Variations In The Invertebrate Communities Of Wild Cape Cod Cranberry Bogs, Barbara Wagner Mar 2016

Variations In The Invertebrate Communities Of Wild Cape Cod Cranberry Bogs, Barbara Wagner

Masters Theses

As a species domesticated only in the last century, agricultural cranberry plants (Vaccinium macrocarpon) remain little removed from their wild relatives. Thus, it is a potential model species for studies of the earliest stages of domestication; however, there is little available quantitative information on its wild population biology and ecology. As such information is vital to studies of the ecological changes occurring during domestication, the purpose of this study was to consolidate the relevant knowledge available and conduct a preliminary search for patterns in the invertebrate communities of wild bogs. The alpha diversity was found to be greater than the ...


Evaluation Of Spring Frost Control Methods And An Assessment Of Cold Hardiness In Cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarporn Ait.), Faith Ndlovu Nov 2015

Evaluation Of Spring Frost Control Methods And An Assessment Of Cold Hardiness In Cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarporn Ait.), Faith Ndlovu

Doctoral Dissertations

The American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) is an important temperate woody shrub crop whose fruit has human health benefits. Cranberry acquires cold hardiness in the autumn and loses it in spring, following deacclimation. Frost protection is necessary in cranberry production as a means to reduce bud damage due to low spring temperatures. The objectives of the field studies were to evaluate two methods of sprinkler irrigation for frost protection, the conventional approach consisting of continuous irrigation throughout the night (CON) and intermittent cycling of sprinklers (INT) incorporating cycling on and off throughout the night, by (i) assessing bud damage and ...


Rnai Mediated Silencing Of Cell Wall Invertase Inhibitors To Increase Sucrose Allocation To Sink Tissues In Transgenic Camelina Sativa Engineered With A Carbon Concentrating Mechanism, Joshua Zuber Jul 2015

Rnai Mediated Silencing Of Cell Wall Invertase Inhibitors To Increase Sucrose Allocation To Sink Tissues In Transgenic Camelina Sativa Engineered With A Carbon Concentrating Mechanism, Joshua Zuber

Masters Theses

Plant invertases are a class of proteins that have enzymatic function in cleaving sucrose to fructose and glucose. Cell wall invertase, located on the exterior of the cell wall of plant cells, plays a key role in the unloading of sucrose from the apoplast to the sink tissues. Cell wall invertase interacts with an inhibitor, cell wall invertase inhibitor, post-transcriptionally to regulate its activity. The inhibitor is constitutively expressed in pollen development, early developing seeds, and senescing leaves: indicative of sucrose allocation being a limiting factor at these stages of development. We introduced algal bicarbonate transporters LCIA/CCP1 to Camelina ...


Thermocycle-Regulated Wall Regulator Interacting Bhlh Encodes A Protein That Interacts With Secondary-Cell-Wall-Associated Transcription Factors, Ian P. Whitney Mar 2015

Thermocycle-Regulated Wall Regulator Interacting Bhlh Encodes A Protein That Interacts With Secondary-Cell-Wall-Associated Transcription Factors, Ian P. Whitney

Masters Theses

Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most abundant raw materials on earth that can be utilized to created carbon-neutral biofuels as a replacement for conventional fossil fuels. In order to create ideal energy crops, the regulation and deposition of cell wall polysaccharides must first be fully understood. Improved understanding of cell wall regulation will enable selection of traits that can optimize biofuel feedstocks. Herein, I utilize the grass model system Brachypodium distachyon in order to understand the transcriptional regulation of secondary cell wall deposition. Gene expression profiling was used to elucidate transcription factors that regulate secondary cell wall biosynthesis. Through ...


Understanding The Transcriptional Regulation Of Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis In The Model Grass Brachypodium Distachyon, Pubudu Handakumbura Nov 2014

Understanding The Transcriptional Regulation Of Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis In The Model Grass Brachypodium Distachyon, Pubudu Handakumbura

Doctoral Dissertations

Secondary cell wall synthesis occurs in specialized cell types following completion of cell enlargement. By virtue of mechanical strength provided by a wall thickened with cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin, these cells can function as water-conducting vessels and provide structural support. Several transcription factor families regulate genes encoding wall synthesis enzymes. Certain NAC and MYB proteins directly bind upstream of structural genes and other transcription factors. The most detailed model of this regulatory network is established predominantly for a eudicot, Arabidopsis thaliana. In grasses, both the patterning and the composition of secondary cell walls are distinct from that of eudicots. These ...


Volatile Profiles And Resistance To Herbivory In Eastern Hemlock, Elizabeth A. Mckenzie Nov 2014

Volatile Profiles And Resistance To Herbivory In Eastern Hemlock, Elizabeth A. Mckenzie

Masters Theses

Eastern hemlock hosts the hemlock woolly adelgid, an introduced sap-feeding insect that causes rapid deterioration of the host. Like most conifers, eastern hemlock produces a variety of constitutive and induced defenses, primarily terpenoids. To explore the relationship of terpenoid defenses with adelgid infestations, we artificially infested hemlocks at a forest site and a plantation site, and compared their terpenoid concentrations to those in control trees. Infested trees showed lower terpenoid concentrations than control trees, suggesting that eastern hemlock not only fails to induce production of terpenoids in response to adelgid infestation, but becomes less able to produce carbon-based defenses due ...


Sequence Analysis Of Maize Yellow Stripe3 Candidate Genes, Dennis B. Depaolo Nov 2014

Sequence Analysis Of Maize Yellow Stripe3 Candidate Genes, Dennis B. Depaolo

Masters Theses

The work presented here focuses on the molecular mechanism of phytosiderophore secretion in graminaceous plants. In maize, yellow stripe3 (ys3) is a mutant that is deficient in its ability to secrete iron-chelating compounds of the mugineic acid family known as phytosiderophores. Phytosiderophores are specific to grasses and are used for the acquisition of iron. Genetic linkage mapping of the ys3 locus lead to a region of interest on chromosome 3 defined by marker UMC1773. The sequence of eleven candidate genes (GRMZM2G390345, GRMZM2G390374, GRMZM2G342821, GRMZM5G800764, GRMZM2G502560, GRMZM5G849435, GRMZM2G105766, GRMZM5G876835, GRMZM2G036976, GRMZM2G502563, miR167g) revealed several small deletions and point mutations within the ...


Functional Analysis Of Moss Class Viii Myosin And Its Role In Plant Cell Division, Shu-Zon Wu Aug 2014

Functional Analysis Of Moss Class Viii Myosin And Its Role In Plant Cell Division, Shu-Zon Wu

Doctoral Dissertations

The moss Physcomitrella patens is a great model system for studying plant gene function using reverse genetic approaches. It undergoes efficient gene-targeting by homologous recombination, allowing the generation of specific gene knockout and tagging a gene at its endogenous locus. Additionally, RNAi is quite effective in P. patens, providing an effective tool for rapid gene silencing and phenotypic characterization. Taking advantage of these features, this dissertation described the establishment of a system to perform an unbiased gene-by-gene RNAi assay to screen for tip growth phenotypes in P. patens. A small set of RNAi constructs were tested, within them one gene ...


The Roles Of Myosin Xi And Rop In Moss Tip Growth, Graham M. Burkart Aug 2014

The Roles Of Myosin Xi And Rop In Moss Tip Growth, Graham M. Burkart

Doctoral Dissertations

Because of the large number of myosin XI and ROP genes found in many angiosperms, it has been difficult to determine their precise role with respect to tip growth. In contrast, there are only two myosin XI genes in four ROP genes in the moss Physcomitrella patens. To determine their role in tip growth using a loss-of-function approach, I used RNA interference (RNAi) and found that both of these proteins are essential for tip growth. Consistent with a role in tip growth, I show that a functional, full-length fusion of mEGFP to myosin XI accumulates at a subcortical, apical region ...


Understanding The Links Between Human Health And Climate Change: Agricultural Productivity And Allergenic Pollen Production Of Timothy Grass(Phleum Pratense L.) Under Future Predicted Levels Of Carbon Dioxide And Ozone, Jennifer M. Albertine Sep 2013

Understanding The Links Between Human Health And Climate Change: Agricultural Productivity And Allergenic Pollen Production Of Timothy Grass(Phleum Pratense L.) Under Future Predicted Levels Of Carbon Dioxide And Ozone, Jennifer M. Albertine

Open Access Dissertations

The prevalence of allergic disease is expected to increase with climate change. Grasses, which have highly allergenic pollen, are widely distributed across the globe. Changes in production and allergen content of grass pollen have not been specifically investigated. We tested the effects of elevated carbon dioxide and ozone on growth, pollen and allergen production of Timothy grass (Phleum pratense L.). Timothy is also used as an agricultural forage crop so changes in plant productivity can also affect humans indirectly. Plants were fumigated in eight chambers at two concentrations of ozone (O3; 30 and 80 ppb) and carbon dioxide (CO ...


Interactions Between Floral Mutualists And Antagonists, And Consequences For Plant Reproduction, Nicole Leland Soper Gorden Feb 2013

Interactions Between Floral Mutualists And Antagonists, And Consequences For Plant Reproduction, Nicole Leland Soper Gorden

Open Access Dissertations

While pollinators and leaf herbivores have been a focus of research for decades, floral antagonists have been studied significantly less. Since floral antagonists can be as common as leaf herbivores and have strong impacts on plant reproduction, it is important to understand the role of floral antagonists in the ecology and evolution of flowers. I conducted four experiments to better understand the relationship between plants, floral traits, floral antagonists, and other plant-insect interactions. First, I manipulated resources (light and soil nutrients) that are known to have impacts on plants and floral traits to test how they affect floral antagonists and ...


Resin Volatiles Of Eastern Hemlock Induced By Its Non-Native Herbivores, Joshua D. Pezet Jan 2013

Resin Volatiles Of Eastern Hemlock Induced By Its Non-Native Herbivores, Joshua D. Pezet

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is in decline because of infestation by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae; ‘HWA’) and, to a lesser extent, the elongate hemlock scale (Fiorinia externa; ‘EHS’). Many conifers respond to insect herbivory by inducing oleoresin-based defenses, however it is unknown whether eastern hemlock is capable of this inducible response. We conducted a plantation setting study of artificially infested saplings to determine if feeding by HWA or EHS induces changes in the tree’s volatile chemistry. The induced changes in volatiles we found were unlike the terpenoid-based defenses of related conifers. Only HWA feeding elevated methyl ...


The Evolutionary Genetics Of Seed Shattering And Flowering Time, Two Weed Adaptive Traits In Us Weedy Rice, Carrie S. Thurber Sep 2012

The Evolutionary Genetics Of Seed Shattering And Flowering Time, Two Weed Adaptive Traits In Us Weedy Rice, Carrie S. Thurber

Open Access Dissertations

Weedy rice is a persistent weed of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) fields worldwide, which competes with the crop and drastically reduces yields. Within the US, two main populations of genetically differentiated weedy rice exist, the straw-hulled (SH) group and the black-hulled awned (BHA) group. Current research suggests that both groups are derived from Asian cultivated rice. However, the weeds differ from the cultivated groups in various morphological traits. My research focus is on the genetic basis of two such traits: seed shattering ability and differences in flowering time. The persistence of weedy rice has been partly attributed to its ability ...


Rhythmic Growth And Vascular Development In Brachypodium Distachyon, Dominick A. Matos Jan 2012

Rhythmic Growth And Vascular Development In Brachypodium Distachyon, Dominick A. Matos

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Plants reduce inorganic carbon to synthesize biomass that is comprised of mostly polysaccharides and lignin. Growth is intricately regulated by external cues such as light, temperature, and water availability and internal cues including those generated by the circadian clock. While many aspects of polymer biosynthesis are known, their regulation and distribution within the stem are poorly understood. Plant biomass is perhaps the most abundant organic substance on Earth and can be used as feedstock for energy production. Various grass species are under development as energy crops yet several of their attributes make them challenging research subjects. Brachypodium distachyon has emerged ...


Development Of A Cytosolic Ph Reporter For Tobacco By2 Cells, Michael E. Urbanowski Jan 2012

Development Of A Cytosolic Ph Reporter For Tobacco By2 Cells, Michael E. Urbanowski

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

The regulation of pH is a critical homeostatic function of plant cells. In addition to acting as the primary cationic species responsible for energizing the plasma membrane, protons likely act as an important regulator and messenger. Despite this importance, few studies have thoroughly described cytosolic pH patterns as the plant cell progresses through the cell cycle. To investigate pH in plant cells, I chose Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) Bright Yellow-2 (BY-2) cells as a model system. My research has two aims. First, I will measure and report the interphase cytosolic pH of BY-2 cells. Next, I will assay the cytosolic pH ...


Novel Systems For The Functional Characterization Of Genes Related To Paclitaxel Metabolism In Taxus Cell Cultures, Khamkeo Vongpaseuth May 2011

Novel Systems For The Functional Characterization Of Genes Related To Paclitaxel Metabolism In Taxus Cell Cultures, Khamkeo Vongpaseuth

Open Access Dissertations

Human society has benefited greatly from plant secondary metabolites, often utilizing a variety of compounds as dyes, food additives, and drugs. In particular, pharmaceutical development has benefited greatly from plant secondary metabolites. One example of this utility is paclitaxel, a highly substituted diterpene approved in the treatment of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and the AIDSrelated Kaposi’s sarcoma. Demand of paclitaxel is likely to increase, due to the current examination of paclitaxel in numerous clinical trials against a variety of other cancers.

Taxus cell culture represents a production source of paclitaxel to meet future demand. However ...


The Land Institute, Madeleine K. Charney Oct 2010

The Land Institute, Madeleine K. Charney

Madeleine K. Charney

An overview of the mission and current projects of The Land Institute in Salinas, Kansas. This organization strives to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops.


The Land Institute, Madeleine Charney Oct 2010

The Land Institute, Madeleine Charney

University Libraries Publication Series

An overview of the mission and current projects of The Land Institute in Salinas, Kansas. This organization strives to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops.


Conservation While Under Invasion: Insights From A Rare Hemiparasitic Plant, Swamp Lousewort (Pedicularis Lanceolata Michx.), Sydne Record Sep 2010

Conservation While Under Invasion: Insights From A Rare Hemiparasitic Plant, Swamp Lousewort (Pedicularis Lanceolata Michx.), Sydne Record

Open Access Dissertations

with non-native invasive species is considered a major threat to many rare native species. As such, invasives removals are a common management strategy. Rare native species that interact uniquely with other organisms in their community (e.g., hemiparasitic plants) may be adversely affected by removing invasives. A management plan for a regionally rare hemiparasitic plant in Massachusetts, Pedicularis lanceolata Michx., identified invasives as a threat, but more quantitative evidence is needed to determine how P. lanceolata‟s persistence is influenced by its co-occurrence with native or invasive hosts. This research asks how P. lanceolata is affected by growth with native ...


Use Of Short-Term Floods As An Additional Management Strategy For Controlling Dodder (Cuscuta Gronovii Willd.) In Commercial Cranberry Production, James M. O'Connell Jan 2010

Use Of Short-Term Floods As An Additional Management Strategy For Controlling Dodder (Cuscuta Gronovii Willd.) In Commercial Cranberry Production, James M. O'Connell

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Dodder (Cuscuta gronovii Willd.) is a weed of serious concern to cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) growers. It develops vigorously and has a long-lived seed bank. Cranberries are a perennial crop and therefore strategies available to growers of annual crops are not practical. Herbicides, the primary management tool for dodder, although effective, have a narrow window of application and extended seedling emergence after applications can result in escapes. This project examined the effect of water temperature on dodder seed germination and the use of short-term floods (less than 72 hr) for dodder management.

Experiments investigated the effect of water temperature on ...