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BIOLOGY 205/SECTION 7 DEVELOPMENT- LILJEGREN Lecture 11 Arabidopsis flower development 1) Arabidopsis has become the ideal model plant to study development. a. other plants were used as models in the past. Mendel studied peas, maize (corn) was one of the two major model organisms (the other being Drosophila) studied by geneticists in the early 20 th century. b. rice is now a really popular model crop plant to study, since like Arabidopsis, its genome has been completely sequenced, and its a monocot (Arabidopsis is a dicot). 2) Advantages and history of this model weed. a. Much faster generation time than other model plants like maize, rice, and tomato, or compared to other more familiar Brassicaceae family members (cauliflower, cabbage etc) b. compact genome, not polyploid like many crop plants (maize)! Makes genetic analysis much easier if don’t have duplicated genomes (ie only 2 copies of a gene instead of 4). c. Elliot Meyerowitz was one of the first scientists who switched from studying development in flies to developing Arabidopsis as a model genetic system more than twenty years ago. 3) Genetic analysis in Arabidopsis: Finding mutants through forward genetics a. Finding mutants the same as in flies or worms. Treat seeds with mutagen (EMS), screen next generation (M2) for mutant phenotype you’re interested in. b. EMS introduces point mutations (changes at random places in the genome G>A, C>T). If point mutation changes codon, can get different amino acid. Many mutations are silent: ie. change in 3 rd nucleotide (wobble position) of a codon may not change the amino acid, and some amino acid changes wouldn’t affect a protein’s function significantly. c. Since Arabidopsis self-fertilizes have same advantage as worms (and opposed to flies)—can skip a generation to get homozygous mutant. d. Many classic flower mutants we’ll be talking about were first identified in mutant screens a long time ago. 4) Genetic analysis in Arabidopsis: Making transgenic plants a. Since early 1980’s can make transgenic plants using Agrobacterium. Like ability to make transgenic mice, this was a major breakthrough for plant research because of all the additional genetic experiments it made possible. b.
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This note was uploaded on 05/26/2011 for the course BIO 205 taught by Professor Reed during the Spring '11 term at UNC.

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