Mary G. Dykas

Publication Date


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First Advisor

Stafstrom, Joel P.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


The focus of this work involves the molecular regulation of dormancy in plants. This includes the analysis of genes that are activated when cells stop growing. Dormancy is the temporary arrest of cell growth as well as a group of changes that aid the plant in surviving adverse conditions. There are hormones involved in this process and their significance helps to demonstrate that dormancy is an active physiological process that requires altered levels of gene expression. Dormant plants have been found to contain unique patterns of gene expression, as well as protein synthesis. Additionally, dormant plants have unique processes such as metabolic activity, just as growing plants do. Gene promoters are regions upstream of the coding region where RNA polymerase binds to initiate transcription. In this experiment, two promoters of Arabidopsis thaliana dormancy genes were isolated and fused with reporter genes in order to study their expression in plants. These observations were compared with that of a Northern blot, which involved probing Arabidopsis thaliana RNA with specific sequences from the 3' UTR of each gene’s cDNA. In most cases, similarity was observed between mRNA accumulation in the Northern blots and expression of the reporter gene protein in planta. As a consequence of a deletion analysis on one of the promoters, significant differences in expression were observed with relation to the size of the promoter.


Includes bibliographical references.


16 pages, 16 unnumbered pages




Northern Illinois University

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