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Understanding the role of DELAY OF GERMINATION (DOG1) to control flower development in the Arabidopsis thaliana accession Cape Verde Island (Cvi)

Author Kanoko KISHIMOTO
Director of thesis Prof. Dr. Luis Lopez-Molina
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

Seed dormancy is a trait of newly produced seeds whereby seed germination is blocked even under favorable germination conditions. Dormancy prevents germination out of season and its study is important not only for our understanding of plant adaptation but also for agriculture since precocious seed germination before harvest has serious impacts on some agricultural species and leads to yield loss. The gene named DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 (DOG1) is an important factor promoting seed dormancy in the model plant Arabidopsis. However, since the function of DOG1 had been characterized mostly using the Arabidopsis weak dormancy strain Columbia (Col), how DOG1 regulates dormancy remains unclear. The host lab generated dog1 mutants in the Arabidopsis high dormancy strain Cape Verde Island (Cvi). As expected, Cvi-dog1 seeds have low dormancy levels; however, most surprisingly, Cvi-dog1 mutant plants display striking flower development phenotypes previously unreported, virtually identical to those of apetala2 (ap2) mutants. Only 10-30% of Cvi-dog1 plants show an ap2-like flower phenotype, which can revert to a WT-like flower phenotype in the next generation. This non-mendelian inheritance suggests that DOG1 influences flower development in Cvi through epigenetic mechanisms. My Ph.D. research proposal aims to elucidate how DOG1 influences flower development in Cvi by focusing on epigenetic mechanisms. These studies should clarify an overlooked function of DOG1 and disclose the mechanism of passing memory from seed to flower development with potential applications for agriculture.

Status beginning
Administrative delay for the defence 4th year