See more from this Division: Z00 Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences (SASES)
See more from this Session: Research Symposium Contest Oral Session II
Sunday, October 16, 2011: 4:45 PM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 210B, Concourse Level
Climate change and the increase in drastic weather occurrences have prompted research to understand how plants can adapt to these changes. This includes plant adaptations for tolerance to drought and/or heat stress. Although research on drought or heat stress responses have been heavily focused on major agronomic crops, limited information is available on horticultural crops. The goal of this research effort was to identify and characterize genes associated with drought and/or heat tolerance in valuable horticultural plants, such as petunia. Petunia (Petunia x hybrida ‘Mitchell’
) is not only an economically important ornament plant, but also is a member of the Solanaceae family along with other valuable food crops such as tomato (Solanum lycopersicum
), potato (Solanum tuberosum
), and pepper (Capsicum annuum
Several genes associated with drought and/or heat stress responses were identified in Arabidopsis and cloned. Young petunia plants underwent Agrobacterium mediated transformation for the over-/under-expression of those genes, followed by visual evaluation three days after the application of drought or heat stress. The experiment employed transient transformation, serving as a screening tool for genes responsible for drought and/or heat tolerance.
Genes allowing for increased drought and/or heat tolerance will be utilized in the development of drought and/or heat tolerant crops. Additionally, the information and knowledge found during the study will further clarify the function of those genes.