Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
- West Virginia State University
Co-Author(s): Edgar Cahoon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE; Krishna Challa, Bagyalakshmi Muthan, Matthew Blackburn and Thanh Nguyen WVSU, Institute, WV
The combined effects of climate change and an ever-increasing global population have created one of the most serious societal problems of our time. Identifying more efficient and effective ways to feed the growing world population is essential for the survival of our species. Selective breeding practices have met the challenge of sustaining the world’s food supply to some extent; however, producing enough nutrient-dense foods in an increasingly hostile environment will require implementation of modern genetic techniques that can create robust and high-energy crops. Therefore, there is great need for in-depth knowledge on the molecular mechanisms that regulate seed storage compounds, including the identification and characterization of genes that regulate the storage of lipids, starch, and proteins in seeds. Our global transcriptomic analysis of the model oilseed plant Arabidopsis thaliana has revealed a large number of previously unidentified genes that are involved in primary metabolic nutrient storage pathways. Further, genetic analysis showed that cupin proteins uniquely expressed during plant metabolic developmental stages. We have developed sucrose mutant screening technology for Arabidopsis cupins, identified potential 3-5 candidate’s genes to study further to understand mechanism of storage compound metabolism in plants. We are also using similar screening tools to screen other proteins involved in seed storage compounds. By use of Agrobacterium-mediated flower dip, we have generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing/RNAi cupin proteins under the control of constitutive or seed specific promoter, respectively. Genetic and biochemical analysis of these transgenic plants are in progress.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation, HRD-1600988
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,