Seed dormancy in nature is regulated by distinct genetic and molecular pathways. These dormancy pathways lead to the differential expression of specific gene sets including genes that are related to translation. A considerable number of quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified in six Arabidopsis thaliana recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations. These delay of germination (DOG) QTLs were confirmed in near isogenic lines (NILs) and present a valuable resource to study dormancy. Transcriptomics analysis in these NILs show that genes encoding proteins involved in protein translation are repressed in dormant seeds. This repression is most prominent in NILDOG6.
The project is aiming to identify ribosomal protein mutants controlling dormancy and investigate their molecular function in regulation dormancy release and seed germination.
To investigate the relation between the translation machinery and seed dormancy release, T-DNA insertion lines of genes encoding ribosomal proteins and translation associated proteins that are differentially expressed between dormant and after-ripened seeds of NILDOG6 were genotyped. Homozygous mutants are being phenotyped for their dormancy behavior. So far, the mutant rpl18C showed increased seed dormancy.
The student will be involved in activities like literature study, experimental design, DNA isolation, genotyping, RNA isolation, PCR, Germination assay, expression analysis.