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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biomonitoring of Nutritional and Environmental Stress in Plants

Location: Application Technology Research Unit

2009 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative project is:.
1)to determine the differences in the expression of genes and proteins in plants grown in a greenhouse environment (no UV-B) compared to those in 'field conditions' (normal ambient UV-B concentrations), and.
2)to identify the protein and genetic changes during hidden hunger, and using this information, deveolop a technique that growers can use to test their plants for specific and/or general nutrient deficiencies.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Microarray techniques will be used to rapidly screen for global differences in gene expression between the two different UV-B environments and nutrient (i.e., N,P,K,Fe,B, and Mg) stress. The initial use of an existing model plant system (i.e., Arabidopsis thaliana) for this work will facilitate identification of specific genes that are responsive to the absence of UV-B during growth. After identifying such UV-B and nutrient stress responsive genes in Arabidopsis, we can then identify related genes in bedding plant species (i.e., impatiens, petunia, begonia, geranium, marigold, pansy, chrysanthemum, and New Guinea impatiens). Simultaneously, proteomics techniques (i.e., identification of proteins of interest by 2-D gel analysis, followed by protein sequencing) will be used to screen for global differences in protein expression between the two different UV-B environments.


3.Progress Report

Genetic analysis (bioinformatics) was completed on the model plan Arabidopsis thaliana and six potential genetic markers were identified as candidates for boron stress response. Each of these were targeted in “translational” work (moving from the model plant to the target horticultural plant Pelargonium × hortorum). Pelargonium exposed to boron deficiency stress generally had the same genetic response of the model plant, and of the targeted genes, Nip5 and a novel boron deficiency response gene named Bdr1, were strongly boron responsive. An antibody was developed for Bor1 for a molecular marker and tested on several species of Pelargonium in boron stress environments. Additional environmental studies determining how CO2 and light influence boron stress. Antibodies are being developed for the proteins from the Nip5 and Bdr1 genes. Progress was monitored through monthly face-to-face meetings, weekly email communication, co-authorship on manuscripts, and shared graduate student oversight.


Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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