We will investigate how plants change leaf vein structure to adapt to environmental changes triggered by climate change. Leaf venation is important for plant nutrient transport and efficient water use. Since making veins requires considerable energy, plants regulate vein density to suit the environment, increasing vein number and connectivity with decreasing water. Different leaf forms are very obvious in aquatic plants: above water, leaves are simple with many connected veins, below water, leaves are dissected with few, disconnected veins. We have identified genes important for vein pattern in Arabidopsis, and will now identify them in aquatic plants. To compare their expression, I have fused the promoter region (triggers expression) of various genes to the gene whose expression produces a blue colour. The amount and location of blue will predict expression of the vein pattern gene. I will delete promoter regions, to assess their importance to gene expression under different conditions.
University of Lethbridge
Globalink Research Award
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