Location: Plant Gene Expression Center Albany_CA
Project Number: 2030-21000-041-00
Start Date: Jul 15, 2013
End Date: Jul 14, 2018
Objective 1. Hypothesis: Additional CLE genes are expressed in specific patterns in the SAM and/or organ primordia during the Arabidopsis life cycle, and these CLE genes will be regulated by known pathways acting in the SAM or organ primordia. Experimental Design: Analyze CLE10, CLE16, CLE17 and CLE27 gene expression in Arabidopsis SAM tissue. Use in situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR to analyze CLE16 and CLE17 expression in plants carrying mutations in major SAM regulatory pathway components. Analyze the expression of all four CLE genes in plants that display defects in leaf organ patterning. Contingencies: If in situ hybridization fails to detect CLE gene expression, then CLE promoter:GUS reporter construct analysis will be conducted. Objective 2. Hypothesis: The CLE16 and CLE17 genes function to control aspects of Arabidopsis SAM activity. Experimental Design: Generate CLE16 and CLE17 loss-of-function lines using insertion mutants and artificial microRNA constructs. Characterize their SAM and lateral organ phenotypes via light and electron microscopy, and histological sectioning. Perform in situ hybridization and GUS staining in the mutants to examine the expression of genes that mark SAM functional domains. Contingencies: If CLE16/17 loss-of-function phenotypes are not detected in the mutant lines, their over-expression phenotypes will be analyzed using the same methologies. Objective 3. Hypothesis: The CLE10, CLE16, CLE17 and CLE27 genes have overlapping functions in regulating Arabidopsis organ formation. Experimental Design: Generate null mutants and/or amiRNA lines for each of the four CLE genes. Cross these lines to produce triple and quadruple mutant combinations. Analyze their leaf morphogenesis events and growth parameters using computational methods. Analyze their leaf patterning defects using electron microscopy, histological sectioning and quantitative measurements. Perform in situ hybridization, RT-qPCR and GUS staining to examine the expression of genes that mark various leaf domains and regulate different aspects of leaf formation. Contingencies: If phenotypes are not observed in the quadruple mutants, cross them to amiR-CLE5/6 lines to eliminate all CLE gene activity in initiating organs. Objective 4. Hypothesis: Arabidopsis CLE sequences are conserved in crop species, and crop CLE genes with highly similar expression patterns to those of Arabidopsis CLE genes can be identified via computational methods. Experimental Design: Perform computational sequence analysis to identify CLE sequences in the rice, maize and soybean genomes, and generate a phylogenetic tree. Use in silico gene expression data to compare the expression patterns of Arabidopsis CLE genes with their rice and grass counterparts. Combine the phylogenetic and expression data to determine which rice and grass CLE genes are most similar and thus most likely to share biological functions. Contingencies: Crop genes orthologous to Arabidopsis SAM and organ regulatory genes are likely to be of economic value. Existing evidence idicates that CLE genes regulating Arabidopsis meristem architecture have similar functions in crop plants as rice and maize.