2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

Molecular Investigations of the Rpb4 Gene in the Arabidopsis crinkle1 Leaf-Development Mutant
Jordyn M. Williams
Dr. Brent Buckner and Dr. Diane Janick-Buckner, Faculty Mentors

RNA Polymerase II (RNA Pol II) is a 12-subunit protein complex that is responsible for mRNA transcription. We performed a reverse genetic analysis in Arabidopsis thaliana for the RNA Pol II subunit 4 gene (Rpb4). A T-DNA insertion in the 5' boundary of the fifth exon of Rpb4 co-segregated with plants that were short in stature and developed small, crinkled leaves (designated crinkle1 or cnk1). Analysis of both genomic and mRNA Rpb4 sequences suggests that the insertion is complex and may affect splicing of Rpb4 mRNA. Our analysis of wild type Rpb4 mRNA suggests that unspliced transcripts of this gene normally accumulate in leaves. Interestingly, a mutation in the maize ortholog of Rpb4 produces a narrow, upward-rolling leaf phenotype similar to that of cnk1. This suggests that the involvement of the Rbp4 gene in leaf development is evolutionarily conserved.

Keywords: molecular genetics, Arabidopsis, leaf development, splicing

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 4-1
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 3:30

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