Date of Award

12-2015

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Plant Biology

First Advisor

Renzaglia, Karen

Second Advisor

Nickrent, Daniel

Third Advisor

Geisler, Matt

Abstract

Physcomitrella patens, a haploid-dominant land plant, has increasingly become useful in molecular genetic studies and is a model for early land plant evolution. This thesis work explores the mucilage secretory hair ontology, development, and ultrastructure with microscopic methods. Axillary hair development parallels that of secretory tissues found in other mosses and ultrastructure shares important similarities with liverwort mucilage papillae. These mucilage secretory structures cover the developing apex and young leaves with mucilage for protection. Changes in the hair cell wall and mucilage secretion are mediated by pectin and wall modification. Using bioinformatic methods, this thesis also investigates protein-protein interactions in Physcomitrella to understand the molecular mechanisms governing pectin biosynthesis and modification.

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