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Title: Structural investigation of the Arabidopsis thaliana circadian clock
Author: Durrant, Oliver
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 9576
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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Plants, like most organisms, have developed elaborate mechanisms for anticipating periodic environmental changes. The circadian clock allows an organism to adapt its metabolic, developmental and physiological processes to coincide with favourable environmental conditions. At the centre of the Arabidopsis thaliana clock, linking environmental inputs and driving the overt biological rhythm is a central oscillator that consists of multiple interlocked transcriptional/translational negative feedback loops. What is known about the structure of the central oscillator comes primarily from genetic analysis. Less clear, is how putative oscillator proteins perform their perceived functions in circadian rhythm maintenance. Described are the cloning, expression and purification of clock-associated proteins; TOCI-PRR, ELF4, LUX and LIPl. Purified ELF4 was subjected to unsuccessful crystallisation trials, probably due to its intrinsically unstructured nature. A truncated form of LIP 1 was shown to be an active OTPase, representing the first example of an active OTPase in the plant clock. In addition, a protocol for the production of ssDNA aptamers has been developed (against SRRl), which can be used to replace antibody-based experimentation. The work presented discusses the difficulty in obtaining the novel, plant-specific proteins in quantities required for crystallisation, and suggests alternative methods for structural and biochemical analysis of these proteins. Moreover, this thesis combines experimental data with a range of Bioinformatic tools to aid design for subsequent biochemical expression, purification and crystallisation trials.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QK Botany