An investigation into the effects of smoke-water and GR24 on the growth of nicotiana benthamiana seedlings

Kotze, Liske Marinate (2010-12)

Thesis (MSc (Plant Biotechnology))--University of Stellenboscg, 2010.

Includes bibliography.

Title page: Dept. of Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Novel plant growth regulating substances (PGRs) are emerging as a useful tool to investigate important growth traits in plants. This study reports on growth promotion pathways leading to enhanced biomass accumulation in two PGRs sharing a common α, β-unsaturated furanone moiety. Growth promotion by GR24, a synthetic strigolactone, and an aqueous smoke solution (including the active compound, KAR1) in physiologically normal seedlings was characterized by enhanced biomass accumulation and higher seedling vigour. Root architecture (lateral root number and root length) and shoot size (fresh and dry shoot weight and leaf area) were also dramatically improved following GR24 and smoke/KAR1 treatment. Despite these apparent similarities, parallel transcript and phytohormone profiling identified only a limited number of overlapping entities. Four common up-regulated and nineteen down-regulated mRNA transcripts were identified; whilst amongst the phytohormones that were analyzed, only ABA and JA levels were commonly increased between the treatments. This suggests that, whilst the phenotypic end response(s) was similar, it was attained via distinct pathways. The limited number of co-expressed transcripts between these treatments, as well as repressed biomass accumulation when combining GR24 and aqueous smoke in a single treatment suggests, however, that a certain degree of cross-talk in either signal perception/transduction and/or biomass regulation could not be ruled out. In light of the structural similarity between the strigolactone and KAR1 molecules and the degree of redundancy between these treatments, it is possible that these two molecules might share a common receptor/perception pathway. Two silencing vectors were constructed, specifically aimed at silencing Nicotiana benthamiana genes MAX4 and MAX2 which are known to function in the strigolactone biosynthesis pathway and signal transduction pathway, respectively. Transgenes designed to express single- or double-stranded-self- complementary hairpin RNA have a post translational gene silencing effect. The pHELLSGATE2 plasmid a binary vector that incorporates GATEWAY cloning technology which makes use of λ-phage-based site specific recombination, rather than restriction endonucleases and ligation, was used to construct these gene silencing vectors. These constructs can in future be used to produce Nicotiana plants with impaired strigolactone production and perception abilities and may provide evidence as to whether the signaling cascade of KAR1 and strigolactone share a degree of crosstalk.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Aanvraag na plantmateriaal is besig om toe te neem, hetsy vir gebruik as mens- en diervoeding of vir die produksie van biobrandstof. Om aan hierdie behoefte te voldoen, word verskeie pogings geloods wat fokus op die optimisering van plantproduksiestelsels. Om plantgroei te stimuleer/verbeter, is ’n ingewikkelde proses en is oor die algemeen moeilik om te begryp. Die produksie van plantbiomassa is nou gekoppel aan primêre metabolisme en enige verandering in hierdie biochemiese padweë kan lei tot ongewenste newe-effekte. Gevolglik word primêre metabolisme streng beheer deur reguleringsmeganismes. ’n Nuttige alternatief tot metaboliese wysiging is deur bio-aktiewe agente te karakteriseer op grond van die veranderinge aan plantgroei wat waargeneem word. Nuwe stowwe met biologiese aktiwiteite in plantontwikkeling word elke dag ontdek en speel ’n belangrike rol in die studie van plantgroei en -ontwikkeling. Hier word verslag gelewer van twee plantgroei-stimulerende stowwe wat albei lei tot die aktivering van verbeterde plantbiomassa-akkumulasie-padweë. Swaarder plantjies met ’n verhoogde oorlewingsvermoё is waargeneem in fisiologies normale saailinge wat met ’n sintetiese strigolaktoon (GR24) of met rookwater (met aktiewe bestanddeel, KAR1) behandel is. Behandeling met hierdie twee stowwe het gelei tot soortgelyke plantbiomassa-akkummulasie- vermoё. Hierdie twee stowwe (GR24 en KAR1) deel ’n ooreenstemmende molekulêre struktuur in die vorm van ’n α, β-onversadigde furanone-moieteit. Ten spyte van die groeiverbeteringsooreenkomste, gesien in saalinge behandel met GR24 en rook/KAR1, dui verskille in transkripsie- en hormoonprofiel op twee verskillende groeistimuleringspadweë. Saailinge wat gelyktydig behandel is met ’n kombinasie van die twee stowwe het egter ’n stremming in groei getoon in vergelyking met die kontroleplantjies. Dit is egter waargeneem dat daar wel ’n mate van oorvleueling in die aantal transkripte was tussen die drie behandelinge, wat daarop dui dat die groei-regulerende padweë nie in totale onafhanklikheid funksioneer nie, maar wel sekere stappe deel. Na aanleiding van die strukturele ooreenkomste tussen die strigolaktoon (GR24) en KAR1 molekules en die mate van molekulêre kommunikasieoorvleueling word gepostuleer dat hierdie twee molekules dalk aan dieselfde reseptormodule kan bind of stimuleer. Om hierdie rede is twee geendempingsvektors geskep wat daarop gemik is om twee gene, MAX2 en MAX4, in Nicotiana benthamiana uit te doof. Die MAX2 geenproduk is betrokke in die kommunikasie en waarneming van die strigolaktoon en die MAX4 geenproduk is betrokke by die vervaardiging van die hormoon. Oordraagbare geen-kostruksies wat daarop gemik is om enkel- en dubbelstring selfkomplimentêre haarnaald-RNS te vorm, besit die vermoë om getranskribeerde geenprodukte te vernietig. Die pHELLSGATE2 plasmied is ’n binêre vektor wat GATEWAY kloneringstegnologie gebruik, waar λ-faag gebaseerde setelspesifieke rekombinasie eerder as die tradisionele ligeringsreaksie gebruik word. Hierdie konstrukte kan gebruik word om transgeniese plantjies te skep waar die vermoë om strigolaktoon te maak of waar te neem, verloor of onderdruk is. Hierdie transgeniese plantjies kan gebruik word om te bepaal of die plantgroei-stimulerende vermoë van GR24 en rook/KAR1 wel dieselfde padweë gebruik.

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