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Rajneesh Singhal (Schnell lab)

Date & Location: March 10, 2020, at 12p; Room 168 Plant Biology Building

Subject: A mitochondrial carrier protein from Chlamydomonas alters root architecture in Camelina

Abstract: Mitochondria are an essential organelle in plant cells as they take part in a variety of essential processes, including oxidative phosphorylation, photorespiration, biosynthesis of various metabolites and the maintenance of cellular redox homeostasis. In roots, mitochondria are the major source of reducing equivalents and ATP and thus have been shown to have a significant role in root growth in Arabidopsis. We have previously characterized a transgenic line of Camelina savita, a promising oilseed crop, constitutively expressing a mitochondrial carrier protein LIP36, a component of carbon concentrating mechanism, from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The transgenic line had higher seed and oil yield relative to control plants, and showed improved water and nitrogen use efficiency.

In the present work, we are characterizing an altered root phenotype observed in transgenic lines that express LIP36 under the constitutive 35S CaMV promoter. During initial stages of growth, LIP36 expressing seedlings have significantly longer primary roots with fewer lateral roots. The rate of primary root elongation in these lines are significantly greater than the wild type plants. However, expression of LIP36 under the control of rubisco activase promoter that restricts expression to green tissues, did not result in this root phenotype suggesting that the elongated root phenotype requires expression of LIP36 in root tissues. I will present data from metabolite and RNA seq analysis that suggest possible roles of altered mitochondrial metabolism in the root phenotype, and summarize our plans to determine the contribution of the altered root phenotype to the positive yield traits observed in LIP36 transgenic plants.

Speaker Lab: Dr. Danny Schnell