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Abstract Detail

Biotic and abiotic stress

Langille, Patrick [1], Lining, Tian [2].

Expression Analysis of the Water Stress Inducible Promoter Wsi18, in the Model Monocot Brachypodium distachyon.

Drought stress is one of the most devastating forms of abiotic stress, which drastically reduces crop yields each year. Improving drought tolerance in crop species is being pursued in many ways to reduce these losses. One method being used is to alter crops at the molecular level to make them more resilient. This can be done by changing the level and pattern of gene expression, or by inserting new genes to alter the way plants respond to drought. The level and pattern of gene expression is mostly controlled by the promoter region of the gene. Drought inducible promoters activate gene expression only under drought stress conditions. Wsi18 is a promoter native to Oryza sativa (rice) that is induced by various forms of water stress, including drought stress, salt stress and abscisic acid (ABA). Wsi18 is active in the whole plant body when drought stressed and in the whole grain during seed development, but has a low level of activity otherwise. These traits make Wsi18 an ideal candidate to drive the expression of genes only necessary during times of drought. The objective of this research is to identify regions within the promoter Wsi18 that contain cis-elements involved in drought induced expression. In an effort to discover these cis-elements, promoter constructs have been made in which regions predicted to have drought inducible cis-elements were removed. These promoter constructs driving the reporter gene beta-glucuronidase (GUS), will be analyzed in the model monocot plant Brachypodium distachyon using transient and stable transformations. By measuring the differences in GUS expression under drought stress between the various promoter constructs, we will be able to identify which regions when removed from Wsi18, effect its drought inducible nature. Knowing which regions of the promoter are involved in drought induced expression can be useful in the future for fine tuning Wsi18’s expression profile, or creating synthetic promoters. Showing that Wsi18 is able to mediate gene expression under drought stress in a distantly related monocot such as Brachypodium distachyon, will also be useful by demonstrating Wsi18’s applicability in other monocots.

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1 - University of Western Ontario, Biology, 1151 Richmond Street , London, Ontario, N6A 3K7, Canada
2 - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1391 Sandford St, London, ON, N5V 4T3, Canada

Abiotic stress

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PBA012
Abstract ID:1106
Candidate for Awards:CSPB President's Award for Best Student Presentation

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