Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Mikiah Ballard - University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Co-Author(s): Fiona Goggin and Aravind Galla, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Fayetteville, AR
Manipulating the expression of FADs in certain plants using overexpression, antisense suppression, or null mutations has previously been shown to influence many plant phenotypes, including chlorophyll content and resistance to many stresses. For example, loss of function of FAD7 in tomato has recently been shown to immunize plants against the potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae. The goal of this study is to examine the phenotypic effects of enhancing or inhibiting expression of FAD3 in tomato. FAD3 expression levels, plant growth, and leaf number were measured in transgenic tomato lines with antisense suppression [AS line] or overexpression [OE line] of FAD3 compared to untransformed wild-type controls. These experiments allowed us to test the hypothesis that suppressing expression of FAD3 would influence plant health and immunity. From the data collected it has been proved that the Wild type category is the tallest for plant height. The Antisense line had the highest Chlorophyll Content. The Over Expression category has the most leaves, making it bushier than the other two genotypes. The phenotypic measures of the three genotypes may depend on the increase or decrease of FAD3. For future research, I hope to successfully prove the ultimate hypothesis right, by suppressing the expression of FAD3 in tomato plants to increase aphid resistance. Proving this hypothesis right, genetically altering plants to be immune to their nemesis, creates a higher yield in production, and a more eco-friendly environment.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This project was supported by the Arkansas INBRE program, with a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, (NIGMS), P20 GM103429 from the National Institutes of Health; National Science Foundation Award Numbers CHE-1263119, IIA-1430427, and IIA-1430428.
Faculty Advisor: Fionna Goggin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I performed a Semi-quantitative PCR to check FAD3 expression levels. I maintained and measured plant growth and leaf number.