Date of Award

11-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Synan AbuQamar

Second Advisor

Dr. Rabah Iratni

Third Advisor

Dr. Marwan I. Jaddou

Abstract

Plants have evolved with intricate mechanisms to cope with multiple environmental stresses. To adapt with biotic and abiotic stresses, plant responses involve changes at the cellular and molecular levels. The current study was designed to investigate the effects of combinations of different environmental stresses on the transcriptome level of Arabidopsis thaliana genome using public microarray databases. We investigated the role of cyclopentenones in mediating plant responses to environmental stress through TGA (TGACG motif-binding factor) transcription factor, independently from jasmonic acid. Candidate genes were identified by comparing plants inoculated with Botrytis cinerea or treated with heat, salt or osmotic stress with noninoculated or non-treated tissues. About 2.5% heat-, 19% salinity- and 41% osmotic stress-induced genes were commonly upregulated by B. cinerea-treatment; and 7.6%, 19% and 48% of genes were commonly downregulated by B. cinerea-treatment, respectively. Our results indicate that plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses are mediated by several common regulatory genes. Comparisons between transcriptome data from A. thaliana stressed-plants support our hypothesis that some molecular and biological processes involved in biotic and abiotic stress response are conserved. Thirteen of the common regulated genes to abiotic and biotic stresses were studied in detail to determine their role in plant resistance to B. cinerea. Moreover, a T-DNA insertion mutant of the Responsive to Dehydration gene (rd20), encoding for a member of the caleosin (lipid surface protein) family, showed an enhanced sensitivity to B. cinerea infection and drought. Overall, the overlapping of plant responses to abiotic and biotic stresses, coupled with the sensitivity of the rd20 mutant, may provide new interesting programs for increased plant resistance to multiple environmental stresses, and ultimately SAMPLE viii increases its chances to survive. Future research directions towards a better dissection of the potential crosstalk between B. cinerea, abiotic stress, and oxylipin signaling are of our particular interest.

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Biotechnology Commons

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