2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Phytoene Synthase (PSY) Paralog Expression in Salt-Stressed Primary Roots of Zea mays Seedlings

Kay S. McNeary
Dr. Diane Janick-Buckner, Faculty Mentor

Carotenoids are the yellow-orange pigments found in plants, functioning in photosynthetic and stress processes. Phytoene synthase is the first enzyme in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway, which ultimately gives rise to the hormone abscisic acid in response to abiotic stress. In maize, phytoene synthase is encoded by three sub-functionalized genes PSY1, PSY2 and PSY3; these paralogs are differentially expressed in the root zones of maize primary roots. To determine whether salt stress affects the expression of PSY paralogs in developing roots, maize seedlings were grown in the dark at 30°C for 5 days in varying NaCl concentrations. Meristematic, elongation, and root hair zones from seedling primary roots were dissected and measured for weight and length differences. Increasing concentrations of NaCl significantly stunted the growth of maize primary roots. RNA was extracted from root tissues, cDNA prepared, and quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR performed to examine the expression of PSY1, PSY2 and PSY3.

Keywords: Phytoene Synthase, Zea mays, salinity, root zone, maize, NaCl, PSY


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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