Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
LaToya Irvin - Delaware State University
Co-Author(s): Rita Hayford, Center for Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716; Fedrica Williams, Molecular Genetics & EpiGenomics Laboratory, Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901; Antonette Todd, Molecular Genetics & EpiGenomics Laboratory, Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901, Venu (Kal) Kalavacharla, Molecular Genetics & EpiGenomics Laboratory, Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901
Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. Durum) is a monocotyledonous plant of the Poaceae family. Its high gluten content and protein make it ideal for pasta production. After Italy, the United States is the world?s second-largest manufacturer of pasta. The Molecular Genetics & EpiGenomics Laboratory at Delaware State University is involved in understanding genetic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic mechanisms of plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. With the concern of rising sea levels, salinity levels in soils are projected to increase. Higher levels of Na are known to disturb homeostasis of the sodium potassium (Na-/K+) pump in plant cells. As durum wheat is an economically valuable and culturally important crop, the effects of rising salinity are critical to understand for maintaining consistent crop production. To analyze this, seeds of Triticum turgidum ssp. Durum cv. Langdon were requested from the Wheat Genetics Resource Center (Kansas State University) and grown in the greenhouse under standard plant growth conditions. Our goal is to understand mechanisms for salt uptake and salt tolerance in durum wheat. In order to do this, we will grow durum wheat plants to the two-week seedling stage, and treat with deionized water with 0mM, 50mM, 100mM sodium chloride (NaCl) at two-day intervals. After 10 days of stress, leaves and roots will be harvested and analyzed at both the microscopic, physiological, and molecular level. We expect to see differential expression of genes between the salinity concentrations versus the control, as well as understand mechanisms of salt tolerance. Knowledge gained from this research will not only help to better understand how crop plants adapt to abiotic stresses such as salinity but will also help identify molecular markers and key genes involved in tolerance to salinity which may be adaptable to other crop plants.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research was supported by LSAMP Bridge to Doctorate Program. The authors would like to thank the members of the Molecular Genetics and EpiGenomics Laboratory at Delaware State University for their support throughout this research.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Venu (Kal) Kalavacharla, email@example.com
Role: I created the experimental design and care for the plants throughout the entire experiment. I also mixed the solutions to test on specimens. I harvested the leaves and roots of the specimen to examine for physiological and molecular changes.