A study of the Root meristem control by the Retinoblastoma-related protein and the effect of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria on root growth

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Roots are considered an important organ as they transport nutrients and water and provide anchor and support in the plants. The development of roots involves the participation of specific proteins such as RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED (RBR) which has been found to play a role in cell cycle regulation and stem cell niche maintenance. Additionally, roots can interact with the environment and soil microorganisms that can influence processes in plant growth and development. For instance, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have been found to have the ability to alter the root system by their influence on signaling pathways or phytohormones. In this study, we generated RBR mutant lines using CRISPR-Cas9 to determine the role of this protein in early plant growth. We found that the mutant lines contained partial abortion in ovules and mild reduction in siliques suggesting the participation of this protein in the early stages of plant development. Furthermore, we also use beneficial and pathogenic bacteria strains to study their effect on root patterning. We showed that WSC417 beneficial bacteria can influence root structure by promoting the growth of root hairs which might suggest a plant improvement in nutrient uptake. Also, we could observe that WSC417 can exert some protection against DC 3000 pathogenic bacteria when plant seedlings were inoculated with both strains. Overall, we could determine that RBR plays a role in early developmental stages and root development can also be influenced by biotic factors such as microorganisms.
Date of AwardAug 24 2023
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorIkram Blilou (Supervisor)

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