Study on stem cell plasticity in plants.
Seah, Seng Wee.
Date of Issue2009
School of Biological Sciences
Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory
Plants are known to exhibit high regeneration activity. In plants, meristematic cells are pools of undifferentiated, dividing cells that can constitute any plant tissue. During floral development, floral meristem (FM) gives rise to floral organs. Interestingly, flowers can be reconstituted following killing of cells containing FM. It is postulated that adjacent cells in the vicinity of the FM can take on meristem identity, hence generating multiple ectopic meristem centers. However, while the phenomenon of FM plasticity has been documented, studies directed towards the molecular signaling mechanisms underlying the regeneration as well as the respecification process are lacking. To induce meristem plasticity, diphtheria toxin A chain (DTA) and nitroreductase (NTR) based ablation systems are employed successfully in this project to study the phenomenon of FM plasticity. We have observed plants exhibiting regeneration phenotypes following hormone- or chemical-based induction and these results strongly suggest that we can employ these two systems to study floral development with spatial and temporal specificity. Additionally, we have generated transgenic lines which can conditionally kill AGAMOUS-expressing cells driven under the AGAMOUS intron 2 promoter. Furthermore, we have demonstrated NTR’s potential as a molecular tool in the study of plant development in this pioneering attempt.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University