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Abstract Detail

Genetics Section

Lakhanpaul, Suman [1], Vibhuti , Singh [2], Sachin, Kumar [2].

Understanding plant development from a new teacher-Phytoplasma, a bacterial pathogen causing genetic reprogramming in plants.

Use of genetic screens and the genetic manipulation of gene  functions have immensely helped in understanding the molecular basis of plant development in the past two decades. However, natural or induced mutants  in the forward as well as reverse genetic approaches used,  essentially involve DNA sequence level changes in the gene/s of interest to varying extents. The peculiar symptoms produced by bacterial pathogen Phytoplasma in several phenotypic  traits such as conversion of flower and its whorls to leaves, flattening of stem, reversion of extra floral nectarines to flowers etc.  offer a unique opportunity to understand the genes and the regulatory pathways controlling plant development without altering  them at the sequence level. Phytoplasma, the wall-less bacteria  having highly reduced AT rich genome evolved from Acholeplasma like organisms through reductive evolution are transmitted by sap sucking insects. Due to their sieve tube limited niche in the plants, the reprogramming of the  development patterns caused by  the altered activities of mesristmatic cells is likely to be mediated by effector molecules of bacterial origin. Detection and characterization of the  target genomic regions of  these effector molecules and the downstream  interactions in the host plant  are useful in understanding their role in genetic control of the altered phenotype produced. An array of  peculiar phenotypes such as phyllody, fasciation, virescence, witches broom, little leaf etc. are produced by Phytoplasma in  an oil yielding plant sesame, ( Sesamum indicum L.). These developmental alterations along with indeterminate habit, high susceptibility to Phytoplasma and short life- cycle of sesame make it   a model system for understanding  plant development using   phytoplasma. Anatomical, physiological and molecular changes  in  sesame  showing altered phenotypic traits  caused by   Phytoplasma were investigated. Our findings  highlighting the aspects of flower and leaf development  in sesame in particular and plants in general will be presented and discussed.

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1 - University Of Delhi, India
2 - University of Delhi, Botany, Delhi, Delhi, 110007, INDIA

Plant development

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 22
Location: Rapids/Grove
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 22010
Abstract ID:285
Candidate for Awards:Margaret Menzel Award

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