MOLECULAR DEVELOPMENTAL GENETICS OF POLLEN AND POLLEN-PISTIL INTERACTIONS IN CROP PLANTS
Project Number: 5335-21000-030-00
Start Date: Mar 17, 2006
End Date: Sep 30, 2010
The long-term goal of this research is to develop the ability to regulate pollen development and pollen-pistil interactions. Using yeast two hybrid screens, as well as genomic and proteomic tools, we have identified candidate proteins that play roles during these processes, and have developed tools (such as cell-specific promoters) that can facilitate functional studies of these proteins. The specific objectives of this project plan are:
1. To elucidate the molecular interactions that occur during pollen development, pollen-pistil interactions, and sperm-egg interactions, using both model (e.g., Arabidopsis) and crop (e.g., tomato, corn) species.
2. To define the mechanisms underlying hybridization barriers between species and determine if manipulating gene expression levels of key genes can overcome such barriers.
We will generate transgenic Arabidopsis, tomato and Brachypodium plants with mutant versions of ROPs and ROP-GEFs, and will assay for changes in vasculature, lignin levels and root growth changes. We will determine the dynamics of protein distribution and vesicle trafficking in pollen tubes of various ROP and ROP-GEF mutants, using fluorescent protein-tags.