How plants feel the cold: dissecting distinct vernalisation responses across arabidopsis thaliana accessions.

Whittaker, Charles (2016) How plants feel the cold: dissecting distinct vernalisation responses across arabidopsis thaliana accessions. Masters thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The winter annual Arabidopsis thaliana requires a prolonged period of cold in order to establish competency to flower, in a process known as vernalisation. Accessions of Arabidopsis worldwide show distinct and highly variable vernalisation responses and a significant amount of this variation has been mapped to a single locus- FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). Whilst the source of the variation is known, the particular polymorphisms, and the exact nature by which they influence different aspects of the vernalisation process remains comparatively unexplored.
This thesis addresses two questions: firstly, what genetic features of FLC across different accessions contribute to their distinct vernalisation responses? And secondly, how does the process of vernalisation in different accessions differ to produce these distinct vernalisation requirements? The work presented here addresses these questions from a number of different perspectives.
Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments point to the role of altered chromatin dynamics as the driver of different vernalisation requirements in two different Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. Expression analysis of transgenic chimeric FLC loci containing domains from both rapidly and slowly vernalising accessions highlights the importance of particular single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in affecting FLC’s propensity to reactivate upon return to warmth after a short period of cold. Finally, analysis of FLC suppression dynamics during cold exposure across a range of accessions illustrates mechanistic differences in vernalisation as the driver of distinct vernalisation requirements.
The work presented in this thesis examines the natural diversity in vernalisation requirements across Arabidopsis thaliana accessions in order to better resolve the nature of such variation, both in terms of its causative features as well as the underpinning mechanism. In doing so, it highlights that a small number of polymorphisms are able to alter the process of vernalisation in significant ways, and that, additionally, the way in which the vernalisation mechanism has been altered varies across accessions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Katie Miller
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2017 10:12
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2017 10:12
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/62675
DOI:

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