Office of Undergraduate Research

Genetic Identification of Genes Essential for Plant Development

Objective: Our research focuses on elucidating signal transduction pathways that are required for plant growth and development by employing a combination of molecular genetic and cell biological techniques. The objective of our current project is to identify novel signaling components in the EMS1 signal transduction pathway, which is required for cell fate determination in Arabidopsis. To achieve our goal, Ms. Lisa Linstroth will perform sensitized genetic screening to identify EMS1 enhancers and suppressors. Methodology: Sensitized genetic screening is a powerful method to identify interacting genes. Recently we identified a weak ems1 mutant (ems1-2). We have performed secondary mutagenesis experiments using ems1-2. Any mutated genes that result in the enhanced or reversed phenotypes compared with the ems1-2 are potential EMS1 interacting genes. In sum, we will create secondary mutations on the basis of the mutated EMS1 gene to identify novel genes that function together with EMS1.

Tasks and responsibilities:

I. Screening EMS1 enhancers and suppressors Initially, about 6,000 ems1-2 seeds were treated with EMS (ethane methyl sulfonate) mutagen. II. Perform phenotypic analysis of EMS1 enhancers and suppressors III. Clone genes from EMS1 enhancers and suppressors