Abstract Detail

Comparative Genomics/Transcriptomics

Schneider, Adam [1], Besik, Ariana [1], Ensminger, Ingo [1], Stefanovic, Sasa [1].

Variation in photosynthetic function and gene expression in parasitic dodder.

Heterotrophy has evolved among flowering plants numerous times, and with it often comes the loss of photosynthesis. Studies in many independent lineages of parasitic plants have observed substantial reductions in chloroplast genome  (plastome) size and gene content. Dodders (Cuscuta, Convolvulaceae) are a diverse clade of leafless, obligate parasites that still appear to be in relatively early stages of plastome and photosynethesis loss based on plastome and slot-blot hybridization approaches. However, it remains unclear to the extent these genes are or are not actually expressed, and what the functional consequences are in terms of photosynthesis physiology.
To address these questions we are taking a two-pronged approach. First, we have sequenced the transcriptomes from six different organs or developmental stages of a single species, Cuscuta cephalanthii, that shows tissue-specific variation in photosynthesis. Do areas with higher energetic demands such meristematic regions or developing seeds show higher expression of photosynthesis genes? Second, we are measuring photosynthetic function using Pulse Amplitude Modulated (PAM) Fluorometry and chlorophyl and carotenoid pigment concentrations using HPLC in the same plant organs but across a wide range of species, to assess functional variation across plant species and organs, which will then be compared to the transcriptomic and genomic findings.

1 - University Of Toronto Mississauga, Department Of Biology, 3359 Mississauga Rd, Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6, Canada

pulse amplutide modified (PAM) fluorimetry

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Abstract ID:87
Candidate for Awards:None

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