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Molecular engineering of plant development using Agrobacterium-mediated protein translocation

Supervisor: P.J.J. Hooykaas Co-Supervisor: R. Offringa

M. Khan
22 March 2017
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The development of methods for the genetic modification of plants a few decades ago has provided a tremendous boost for molecular plant science. Crop plants have been generated that are resistant to insects or herbicides, or that produce useful sugars or healthy nutrients. Although the ban on growing GM crops in Europe has considerably limited the application of GM technologies, they have still contributed considerably to fundamental plant science. Especially by using the natural and very efficient mechanism of DNA transfer by the soil born bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, many collections of mutant lines of model plant species such as Arabidopsis and rice have been generated, in which genes are disrupted or overexpressed by the insertion of an Agrobacterium transfer DNA (T-DNA) construct. These collections have been used in forward or reverse genetics studies to unravel the function of a gene or a family of genes in plant defense or development, and to identify the key regulators in these processes. The study described in this thesis focused on the use of one of these key regulators, the Arabidopsis AT-HOOK MOTIF NUCLEAR LOCALIZED PROTEIN 15/REJUVENATOR (AHL15/RJV), to alter developmental processes such as flowering, senescence and regeneration.

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