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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Patterson, Erin [1], Heeney, Michelle [2], Schrager-Lavelle, Amanda [2], Bartlett, Madelaine [3].

Determining the role of awns in the model grass species Brachypodium distachyon.

Awns, projections from the outer floral organs or bracts of grass flowers, appear in almost every clade of grasses, with morphology varying from short and stubby to very long and twisted. They likely play complex roles for the plants that bear them, participating in grain loading, as well as seed dispersal and establishment. While a handful of genes involved in awn development are known, awns remain relatively understudied. Specifically, the function of awns is currently unknown in the model species Brachypodium distachyon, along with the genes responsible for awn development. Here, we approach these questions using a variety of methods. Following previous studies which support awns’ role in grain loading in barley, we performed an awn clipping experiment to determine whether this role is conserved in B. distachyon. We also take advantage of an existing B. distachyon mutant, awnless1 (awl1), which has delayed growth and defects in gynoecium development in addition to lacking awns. We examine the development of inflorescence meristems and gynoecia in WT and awl1 plants using scanning electron microscopy, and are working towards cloning the gene affected in awl1 mutants. We find that clipping awns in B. distachyon does not affect seed weight, but does result in a significant increase in total number of seeds produced. We also show that the awl1 mutant fails to initiate awns at any stage, and produces inflorescence meristem-like structures in place of gynoecia. Together, these findings further our understanding of awn function and development in B. distachyon.

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1 - University Of Massachusetts, Plant Biology Graduate Program, 204C French Hall, 230 Stockbridge Rd, Amherst, MA, 01003, United States
2 - University of Massachusetts, 639 N Pleasant St., Amherst, MA, 01003, United States
3 - University Of Massachusetts Amherst, 611 North Pleasant Street, 374 Morrill 4 South, Amherst, MA, 01003, United States


Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT020
Abstract ID:1310
Candidate for Awards:None

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