Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Lining Tian


Water deficit-inducible promoters that function in multiple species are valuable components for engineering stress-tolerant crops. Wsi18 is a water deficit-inducible promoter native to Oryza sativa. In this study, Brachypodium distachyon (B. distachyon) was used to determine if Wsi18 retained its water deficit-inducible characteristics in another monocot. Transgenic B. distachyon plants, in which the Wsi18 promoter drove the expression of the uidA reporter gene, were developed and exposed to osmotic stress generated by mannitol, salt stress conditions, and the water deficit-signaling phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA). GUS histochemical assays demonstrated increased uidA expression in the leaves and stem of mannitol, NaCl, and ABA-treated plants. RT-qPCR demonstrated maximum expression increases of 8.5-fold following mannitol treatment, and 9.1-fold following ABA treatment, although no change was induced by the NaCl treatment. These findings suggest the Wsi18 promoter is induced by water deficit in B. distachyon, and could be an excellent tool for future crop improvement.

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