Location: Plant Gene Expression Center Albany_CA
2013 Annual Report
Using gradually maturing shoot apices and deep RNA seq, we will construct a shoot maturation atlas for Solanaceae (potato and tomato) and grasses species of (maize and Brachypodium). Apices at 4-6 time points, starting with dissected embryos (in grasses, many embryos contain several leaves) or germinating seedlings and ending at transition to flowering, will be collected at regular intervals. The dynamic changes in gene expression will be used to construct a “meristem maturation clock” comprised of universal and species specific markers.
Objective 2 : Utilize RNAseq and “meristem maturation clocks” to characterize the state of lateral shoots with different fates.
We will collect axillary shoot apices of equivalent state as the shoots in aim 1 for RNA seq analysis. We will compare.
Objective 3 : Determine the contribution of the miR156 pathway to the “shoot maturation clock” and to the fate of lateral meristems.
Compare “young” and “old” primary apices and side shoots of Cg/35S:miR156 plants with same age WT apices. Classify genes with age-dependent expression dynamics as miR156 dependent and miR156 independent.
Objective 4 : Compare the consequences of targeted manipulation of age dependent programs by “universal” and species-specific factors.
Can we specifically modify primary and side shoots? Can we use it to alter overall plant architecture in a favorable way? Using the expression atlas, promoters of genes with specific types of expression will be selected. These will include genes with specific age dependent gradients (increasing and decreasing), differential activation in primary and lateral shoots, and age dependent expression in lateral shoots. We will use these and “general” promoters as means to specifically modify shoot architecture and composition for tailoring of economically useful traits. We will explore the roles of factors of the miR156 pathway as well as miR156-independent factors, both “universal” and species-specific. We will monitor shoot architecture, productivity and composition of the classical plant products (fruits, grains tubers) as well as potentially novel products (hay and biofule raw materials).