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Armijo&Goebel1

JulianArmijoandRobbyGoebel
JesseWadeRobinson
Periods23
18March2015
ArabidopsisMutantBRI1GrantProposal

1. BackgroundInfo

Itisimportanttostudyplantsbecausetheywillplayanessentialroleinthepreventionof
worldhungerwithincomingyears.AstheEarthspopulationincreases,theamountofland
availableforgrowingcropsdecreases.Inordertocounteracttherisingdemandforfood,crops
willneedtobeengineeredtogrowfaster,surviveinextremeconditions,andrequirelessspaceto
grow.Whileresearchershavealreadylearnedhowtocontrolthesetraitsbyalteringtheplants
genes,theyhavenotfiguredouthowtocreatecropswithbeneficialtraitswithoutsacrificing
otherimportantfeatures.Therefore,itisimportanttostudyplantsbecausetheresearchcould
solvethehungercrisisthatwefaceinthenearfuture(Arabidopsis).
Arabidopsisisanidealplantforresearchformultiplereasons.First,arabidopsisisvery
smallandtakesaround40daystomature,whichisconsiderablyfasterthanotherplants
(Arabidopsis).Second,arabidopsishasasmallamountofdeoxyribonucleicacid,orDNA,
comparedtootherplants(Gene).ThismeansthatarabidopsisDNAcontainsallofits
informationinjust157millionnucleotidepairs,sothereisagoodchancethatageneticmutation
willproducemanychanges(Genome).Third,arabidopsisischeapandeasytoreproduce,
makingitaconvenientmodelorganismforplantresearch(Arabidopsis).
Plantmutantsaremadethroughaprocessknownasinsertionalmutagenesis.Byadding
nucleotidesintoaplantsDNA,thegenesarealteredandresultinvariouschangesintheplants
traits(Gene).Byrepeatingtheprocessonotherplants,researchersareabletocreatemutants
thatconsistentlydemonstratethemodifiedtraits.

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2. FirstIndependentVariable

Forourexperiment,wewillbeusingtwodifferenttypesofarabidopsis:Onewillbean
ordinarystrainofwildarabidopsis,whiletheotherwilllackagenethatproduces
brassinosteroids.Thismutant,calledBRI1,hasmultiplegeneticdifferencesduetoitsresistance
tobrassinosteroids.Instandardarabidopsisplants,brassinosteroidsareproduced,whichare
responsibleforthegrowthofpollentubesandthecellwall.Sincethemutantarabidopsisdoes
notabsorbbrassinosteroids,itwillnotproperlyexpanditscells.Thiswillresultindeformations
intheplantscells,aninabilitytocreatepollentubes,andadecreasedresistancetoheatingor
freezing.Whileitisclearhowthesetraitsareaffectedbythepresenceofbrassinosteroids,other
traitshaveanunclearcorrelationtothesubstance.Specifically,itisunknownhowtheplants
cellwallisaffectedbythelackofbrassinosteroids.

3. SecondIndependentVariable

Inordertodeterminetheeffectsofbrassinosteroidsonaplantscellwall,wewillsubject
theplantstoultravioletlight.PowerfulUVlightsresultinionizingradiation,whichwillbe
strongenoughtoionizetheatomswithintheplantcellsandbreakchemicalbonds.Byadding
onlyUVlight,wewillbeabletoobservetheeffectsofradiationontheplantswithoutother
interferingfactors.
Thistreatmentissuitableforourexperimentbecauseitwillhelptouncovermissing
informationabouttheeffectsofbrassinosteroids.Currently,theeffectsofbrassinosteroidsonthe
plantscellwallsareunknown,whichweaimtodiscoverthroughourexperimentation.Byusing
theUVlighttodamagetheplantscellwalls,wecanobservethedifferencesinhowthecellwall
regeneratesbetweenthewildtypeandthemutant(CellWall).Wepredictthatthewildtype
arabidopsiswillrecoverfromtheradiationandcontinuetogrow,whilethemutantwillnotrepair
itscellwallandwillinsteadgainanabnormalappearance.

Armijo&Goebel3
Thisexperimentwillhelptheworldunderstandthepurposeandimportanceof
brassinosteroids.Ifourtestshelptodemonstratethatbrassinosteroidsareimportantforplantsto
survive,allcropsinthefuturewillneedtonaturallyproducethechemicalinordertohavethe
bestchanceofsurvival.Throughthisexperimentation,wemaybeabletomakeasignificant
contributioninthegeneticengineeringofplants.

4. ExperimentalPlan

Forthisexperiment,wewillbeginexposingtheplantstoconstantUVlightaftertwo
weeksofgrowth.Sincewewanttodisruptthecellwallwithoutdamaginganyotherpartsofthe
plants,wewanttowaitlongenoughforthecellwalltoform.Aftertwoweeks,wewillexpose
theplantstoUVlightonetime.Inordertopreventmoreseriousdamagetotheplants,wewill
useUVlightwith10eV(electronvolts)ofpower,theminimumforionizingradiation.To
ensurethattheplantsarenotaffectedbythelightorheatcausedbytheUVlight,wewillkeep
theplantsinawarm,welllitenvironment.

5. DependentVariables

Inourexperiment,wewanttopayattentiontotheoverallhealthoftheplants.Sincethe
goalofthetestistodiscovertheeffectofbrassinosteroidsoncellwallregeneration,wewantto
comparethestateofthecellwallsofboththewildtypeandthemutant.Inaddition,wewantto
comparethesetothecontrolplantstoseeifanydifferencesbetweenthewildtypeandthe
mutantwereduetotheUVlight.

6. ControlledVariables

SincetheonlydifferencebetweenourfourplantsshouldbetheUVlightexposure,we
wanttocontroleveryothervariabletomakesuretheyarethesameforeachplant.Thismeans
eachplantwillgrowinidenticalconditions,receivingthesameamountoflight,heat,andwater.

Armijo&Goebel4
Theywillalsobeexposedtothesameamountofhumidityandgrowinthesametypeofsoil.
TheseprecautionsshouldpreventanyfactorsotherthanUVlightfromaffectingthefinalstateof
ourplants.

WorksCited
ArabidopsisIntroduction
.Perf.DavidLally.
PREP
.YouTube,1July2011.Web.
"CellWall."
Wikipedia
.WikimediaFoundation,n.d.Web.
"Genome."
Wikipedia
.WikimediaFoundation,n.d.Web.
HowDoYouDisableaGene?
Perf.DavidLally.
PREP
.YouTube,22Aug.2011.Web.