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Title:Functional analysis of soybean dirigent genes
Author(s):Berruezo, Florencia
Advisor(s):Clough, Steven J.
Contributor(s):Domier, Leslie; Lambert, Kris
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Dirigents (DIR)
Pathogen-induced defense
Abstract:In this project, the expression of the soybean dirigent genes and their effect on plant defense to pathogens was studied. Dirigent proteins, present in all of the major land plants, have been hypothesized to work in concert with oxidative enzymes to direct the synthesis of stereospecific lignans, such as (+) or (-)-pinoresinol, and lignins, from the selective coupling of specific stereoisomers of deprotonated alcohol molecules. Lignans and lignins have been shown to have antimicrobial properties and human health benefits when polymerized. The expression patterns in leaves of several genes encoding dirigent-like proteins in soybean suggest that these genes are pathogen-induced. The first goal of this research project was to identify all dirigent-like genes in soybean. Once identified, alignments and a phylogenetic tree of their protein sequences were made, and 3 selected ones were chemically synthesized and overexpressed in Arabidopsis thaliana to determine in the future if they function in these plants to enhance resistance to pathogens. In addition, I analyzed the promoter of the 3 selected dirigent genes that were determined to be the most pathogen-specific in its expression pattern. Transient transformation and disease assays were performed in Nicotiana benthamiana and soybean, showing possible reduction in the size of lesions induced by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum when the soybean dirigent-like genes were transiently expressed in N. benthamiana.
Issue Date:2017-07-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Florencia Berruezo
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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