Regulation of desiccation tolerance in Xerophyta seedlings and leaves

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Illing, Nicola en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Ingle, Robert A en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Lyall, Rafe en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2017-01-20T10:33:51Z
dc.date.available 2017-01-20T10:33:51Z
dc.date.issued 2016 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Lyall, R. 2016. Regulation of desiccation tolerance in Xerophyta seedlings and leaves. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/22853
dc.description.abstract A small, diverse group of angiosperms known as resurrection plants display vegetative desiccation tolerance and can survive loss of up to 95% of cellular water, a feat only seen in the seeds and pollen of other angiosperms. Xerophyta humilis is a resurrection plant native to Southern Africa that has been the target of previous transcriptomic and proteomic studies into the mechanisms of plant desiccation tolerance. The aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that vegetative desiccation tolerance is derived from the networks that control desiccation tolerance in seeds and germinating seedlings in angiosperms, particularly the epigenetically silenced seed maturation genes. Germinating seedlings of X. humilis and the related resurrection plant X. viscosa were found to be VDT from the earliest stages of germination, and exhibited the characteristic vegetative trait of poikilochlorophylly as seen in mature leaves. The X. humilis desiccation transcriptome comprising 76,768 distinct gene clusters was successfully assembled from sequencing samples at five relative water contents (100%, 80%, 60%, 40% and 5%) to identify the networks activated in response to water loss. Desiccation was associated with successive waves of transcription factor induction, as well as widespread down-regulation of histone modification enzymes. Many seed-specific genes, such as late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins, seed storage proteins and oleosins, were induced in vegetative tissue. LEA transcripts in particular were highly up-regulated during desiccation, and the large number of distinct LEA transcripts (over 150) suggests possible LEA gene expansion in Xerophyta compared to desiccation-sensitive plants. Components of the PYL/SnRK2/ABF ABA-signalling pathway were also induced, although the ABF transcription factors activated in response to desiccation were most similar to those induced by drought in A. thaliana rather than seed maturation. Of the canonical seed master regulators (such as the LEC1/ABI3/FUS3/LEC2 network and ABI5) only three ABI3 transcripts were expressed, all of which encoded proteins lacking the seed motif-binding B3-domain. The results of this study suggest that vegetative desiccation tolerance in X. humilis is not associated with re-activation of seed master regulators in vegetative tissue, but may instead involve activation of seed genes by vegetative drought response regulators. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Molecular and Cell Biology en_ZA
dc.title Regulation of desiccation tolerance in Xerophyta seedlings and leaves en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Molecular and Cell Biology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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