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Transcriptional regulation of vascular patterning in Arabidopsis thaliana Open Access


Other title
leaf development
Arabidopsis thaliana
vascular patterning
vein formation
transcriptional regulation
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Donner, Tyler James
Supervisor and department
Scarpella, Enrico (Biological Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Mattsson, Jim (Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University)
Waskiewicz, Andrew (Biological Sciences)
Deyholos, Michael (Biological Sciences)
Cooke, Janice (Biological Sciences)
Department of Biological Sciences
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The plant vascular system is a network of vascular strands that transport nutrients and signals. Some of these signals control the development of non-vascular tissues surrounding vascular strands; some others coordinate the development of new branches, leaves, and flowers with that of new roots. Thus, understanding how vascular strands form may provide understanding of how tissues and organs are formed and how their formation is integrated within the organism. Available evidence implicates the plant signaling molecule auxin in the control of vascular strand formation, but the molecular details of auxin’s action in this process remain unclear. Leaves are an attractive system to study the mechanisms controlling vascular strand formation because in leaf development strands of vascular cells appear from within a population of seemingly identical cells. Within this population, however, only vascular precursor cells initiate expression of the ARABIPDOPSIS THALIANA HOMEOBOX8 (ATHB8) gene. Under both normal and experimental conditions, domains of ATHB8 expression accurately predict sites of vascular strand formation, suggesting that the mechanisms that control vascular strand formation act prior to initiation of ATHB8 expression. If initiation of ATHB8 expression identifies the termination of the vascular patterning process, identification of the regulatory elements required for expression of ATHB8 and similarly expressed genes, and identification of the transcription factors binding to these regulatory elements, should identify transcriptional controls of leaf vascular patterning. Here I identify three Arabidopsis genes whose initiation of expression overlaps with initiation of ATHB8 expression during leaf vascular development. Further, I show that for three of these four early vascular genes, including ATHB8, initiation of expression depends on different regulatory elements, suggesting that early vascular gene expression is controlled by different regulatory pathways. Finally, I identify the regulatory pathway that initiates ATHB8 expression and contributes to vascular strand formation. My findings define molecular identities of early vascular cells, transcriptional controls of early vascular gene expression, and molecular inputs of auxin signal transduction in leaf vascular patterning.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Donner, T. J., Sherr, I., and Scarpella, E. (2009). Regulation of preprocambial cell state acquisition by auxin signaling in Arabidopsis leaves. Development 136: 3235-3246.Donner, T. J., Sherr, I., and Scarpella, E. (2010). Auxin signal transduction in Arabidopsis vein formation. Plant Signal Behav. 5: 70-72.Gardiner, J., Donner, T. J., and Scarpella, E. (2011). Simultaneous activation of SHR and ATHB8 expression defines switch to preprocambial cell state in Arabidopsis leaf development. Dev Dyn. 240: 261-270.Vanneste, S., Coppens, F., Lee, E., Donner, T. J., Xie, Z., Van Isterdael, G., Dhondt, S., De Winter, F., De Rybel, B., Vuylsteke, M., De Veylder, L., Friml, J., Inze, D., Grotewold, E., Scarpella, E., Sack, F., Beemster, G. T. S., and Beeckman, T. (2011). Developmental regulation of CYCA2s contributes to tissue-specific proliferation in Arabidopsis. EMBO J. 30: 3430-3441.Donner, T. J. and Scarpella, E. (2013). Transcriptional control of early vein expression of CYCA2;1 and CYCA2;4 in Arabidopsis leaves. Mech Dev. 130: 14-24.

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