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Title: Clade A1 heat shock transcription factor genes for environmental stress tolerance in plants
Author: Persad , Ramona
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 5619
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2015
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Heat shock transcription factors (HSFs) play an important role in providing plants with tolerance or resistance to various environmental stresses. It was proposed that the Clade A1 HSF group may encode the "master regulator(s)" of both the abiotic and biotic stress response, and they were also implicated in growth and development. The number of HSF genes within the Cia de A1 group is highly variable between species, with Arabidopsis having four members compared to Oryza having one equivalent homo log. Previous studies suggested that the Arabidopsis Clade A1 group may have redundant roles in both the stress response and development. The main aim of this study was to determining the functional significance of having multiple Clade A1 HSF homo logs as key transcriptional activators in both the abiotic and biotic stress response. This was done using a physiological approach under non-stressed and stressed conditions and a comparative gene expression approach, with loss of function and over-expressing HSF mutants. Members of the Clade A1 HSFs influenced basal thermotolerance, basal resistance, and plant growth and development. Comparing the gene expression results with those of physiological experiments, it appears that although the Clade A1 HSFs may have specific regulatory roles, there is still a significant level of redundancy and complementation. Three key proteins involved in both stress and development were common to all Clade A1 HSFs, HSP90.1, ROF2 and HSP70. All Clade A1 HSFs appear to be involved in ABA stress signalling, with HSFAlb being the most divergent in gene expression and having a key role in immunity and oxidative stress signalling, and HSFAla and HSFAle involved in growth, abiotic and biotic stress signalling. These results suggest that the Clade A1 HSFs function together as key master regulator to both abiotic and biotic stresses in addition to playing an important role in plant growth and development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available