Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Biology



First Advisor

Maeli Melotto


Stomata, micro-pores on the leaf surface, are formed by a pair of guard cells. In addition to controlling water loss and gas exchange between the plant and the environment, these cells act as immunity gates to prevent pathogen invasion of the plant apoplast. Some Plant pathogens produce virulence factors that enable them to reopen the stomatal immunity gates to favor bacterial entry. Pseudomonas syringae pv. Tomato strain DC3000 (Pst DC3000) produces a phytotoxin called coronatine that assists pathogen entry via re-opening the closed stomata. Earlier studies report that Pst DC3000 regulates a family of genes called JASMONATE ZIM-DOMAIN (JAZ) genes in COR dependant manner. Hypothesizing that COR regulation of JAZ genes is essential for bacterial entry, it is important to understand the molecular happenings at these initial stages of bacterial penetration. Laying emphasis on the above mentioned hypothesis this study provides 1) a brief procedure to obtain highly pure guard cell protoplasts (GCPs) using conditions that preserve the guard cell transcriptome as much as possible for a robust high-throughput RNA sequence analysis. 2) Direct effect of COR, on JAZ gene expression in whole leaves and guard cell protoplasts (GCPs). 3) Substantial genetic evidence that the N-terminus of JAZ9 is essential for plant's defense against Pst DC3000. This study will contribute to refining the current model of JAZ proteins in the plant cell during pathogen infection.


Biology | Life Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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