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item Horvath, David
item Anderson, James

Submitted to: Weed Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2001
Publication Date: 2/1/2002
Citation: Horvath, D.P., Anderson, J.V. 2002. A molecular approach to understanding root bud dormancy in leafy spurge. Weed Science. 50(2):227-231.

Interpretive Summary: This paper was presented at the Weed Science Society meeting in Greensburo NC in February 2001. It discusses the use of various methods to identify genes that are differentially expressed in root buds of leafy spurge when they begin to grow following treatments known to break dormancy. Fifteen different genes were identified by a combination of differential display technology, microarray technology, and homology searches of an expressed sequence tagged (EST) database from root buds of leafy spurge to genes with known functions or regulatory controls. A survey of the different tissues and conditions that control the regulation of these genes allowed the conclusion that the two different signals known to influence growth of root buds in spurge act to block progression of the cell cycle at distinct points. It should now be possible to identify key regulatory elements responsible for controlling root bud growth. This information will be used to develop novel methods to control leafy spurge.

Technical Abstract: Leafy spurge is a tenacious perennial weed of the Northern Plains. This plant maintains a perennial growth cycle by controlled production and growth of numerous underground adventitious buds. We are using molecular tools to identify signaling pathways that control underground adventitious bud growth and development in leafy spurge. Towards this end, we have used three techniques to identify genes that are differentially expressed concomitantly with the breaking of quiescence in underground buds of leafy spurge. These techniques include differential display, random cloning and sequencing of genes expressed in growing buds and microarray technology. To date, we have identified more than 16 genes that are differentially-expressed in underground buds of leafy spurge during dormancy break and growth initiation. A detailed expression analysis of these genes will allow them to be grouped by their responses to various signals known to play a role in control of underground bud growth. This information will be used to identify key cis-acting elements involved in the regulation of these genes. How such information on signal transduction processes may be used for developing new weed control strategies by identification of novel target pathways and development of DNA based herbicides is presented.