Emily Conklin
Emily Conklin
Faculty Advisor: Jian Hua
Year: 2011

The hunt for bon1 suppressors in Arabidopsis thaliana

This summer, I worked in the Hua lab under the supervision of Jian Hua and Zhenying Shi. As a BTI intern, I investigated the Arabidopsis BONZAI1 gene, which plays a role in plant growth and regulating R (resistance) genes. This gene was identified in our lab and showed inhibited growth and enhanced pathogen resistance. BON1 encodes a calcium-dependant protein, so it is therefore reasonable that BON1 might regulate defense against pathogens by using calcium as a signal. To explore this, the lab created T-DNA mutants of genes that are thought to be involved in calcium transfer and crossed them with the bon1-1 mutant. We are selecting the double mutants from these crosses and will study the possible effect of the lack of these calcium proteins on the bon1-1 phenotype. Specifically, I am looking for suppressors of this phenotype. A suppressor should have flattened leaves and better growth. To identify suppressors or enhancers, I learned how to perform phenotypic analysis as well as genotyping, which consists of DNA extraction, PCR reaction, and gel electrophoresis. I have identified several T-DNA mutants as possible suppressors.

My Experience

This summer, I worked in the Hua lab under the supervision of Jian Hua and Zhenying Shi. As a BTI intern, I investigated the Arabidopsis BONZAI1 gene, which plays a role in plant growth and regulating R (resistance) genes. This gene was identified in our lab and showed inhibited growth and enhanced pathogen resistance. BON1 encodes a calcium-dependant protein, so it is therefore reasonable that BON1 might regulate defense against pathogens by using calcium as a signal. To explore this, the lab created T-DNA mutants of genes that are thought to be involved in calcium transfer and crossed them with the bon1-1 mutant. We are selecting the double mutants from these crosses and will study the possible effect of the lack of these calcium proteins on the bon1-1 phenotype. Specifically, I am looking for suppressors of this phenotype. A suppressor should have flattened leaves and better growth. To identify suppressors or enhancers, I learned how to perform phenotypic analysis as well as genotyping, which consists of DNA extraction, PCR reaction, and gel electrophoresis. I have identified several T-DNA mutants as possible suppressors.