Function of IQD proteins in shoot organ growth

Mckechnie-Welsh, Emma (2021) Function of IQD proteins in shoot organ growth. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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A large family of IQ67-domain (IQD) genes encode calmodulin-binding proteins conserved throughout the evolution of land plants. Their functional role in plants is however largely unstudied. Recent research has linked different IQD family members to roles in plant defence and the control of growth and developmental processes, including fruit shape. IQD proteins also show interesting cellular localisations, among which association with microtubules has been highlighted as key for modulation of specific developmental processes. Furthermore, there is evidence for regulation of IQDs by a variety of transcription factors and plant hormones vital for controlling plant growth, supporting the importance of IQD protein function downstream in cellular processes regulating growth.

The basis of my project was to study a set of closely related IQD genes that were linked to plant growth, using gain and loss of function in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This hoped to unveil redundant function and facilitate the study of cellular and molecular processes underlying IQDs’ regulation of plant growth, which is applicable to crop species. Research also sought to investigate the relationship between IQD function and chemical signals associated with the gene family, such as phytohormones and calcium.

The results reported gave insight into the role of IQDs in oriented organ growth, with links to oriented cell division and auxin transport. Whilst unable to fully define the molecular basis of IQD function in plant growth, the work validated IQDs as molecular players involved in fundamental cellular processes of plant growth and raised novel hypotheses to explain the role of IQD genes in plant growth regulation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2021 10:15
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2021 10:15


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