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Title: The role of G-Quadruplexes in regulating gene expression and Arabidopsis thaliana development
Author: Baxter, Colette L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 0114
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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G-Quadruplexes (G4s) are RNA and DNA secondary structures that form in guanine-rich sequences. Increasing evidence identify that G4s play important roles within fundamental biological processes, however there is little known about the role of G4s in plants. Here we demonstrate that treatment with G4 stabilising ligands significantly affects overall plant growth with particularly strong effects on the primary root and root hairs. We propose that these phenotypes may be caused by G4 ligands causing a significant downregulation of expression in the EXTENSIN (EXT) gene family. The proline rich motifs within EXTs results in two tetrad G4s on the template strand of the gene body. We suggest that these G4s within EXTs may impact on RNA Polymerase II processing during transcription and splicing. The reduction in EXT expression may result in the plants compromised cell walls and therefore cause the root hair morphology and growth defects observed This research indicates novel roles of G4s in fundamental biological processes, which may also occur in many other organisms, including mammals. Furthermore, we identify potential G4 dependent growth mechanisms in plants, the knowledge of which could facilitate the production of plants with greater yields, use fewer resources, or utilised for herbicide production.
Supervisor: Casson, Stuart Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available