An Investigation into Transformation and RNA Editing in the Lolium Plastome
van der Bekerom, Rob Jozef Matheus (2010) An Investigation into Transformation and RNA Editing in the Lolium Plastome. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
Ireland’s agricultural land area comprises of 91% grassland, which predominantly consists of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Owing to the predicted climate change, grasslands in the east of Ireland will be severely affected over the next hundred years. Due to this prediction, strategies to circumvent this problem need to be addressed. The present study is focused on RNA editing (post-transcriptional nucleotide modifications resulting in altered transcripts) within plastidial transcripts of the NDH complex (NADH dehydrogenase complex) in relation to the drought response of several accessions of perennial ryegrass. Previous studies have shown that the NDH complex is involved with countering oxidative stress during environmental stresses like drought. Due to the nature of RNA editing within this complex, the RNA editing machinery could potentially play a role in regulating the activity of the NDH complex. In this study a difference was observed in editing behaviour between accessions of Lolium perenne L., however a direct relationship between editing behaviour and drought response could not be confirmed. Despite the lack of correlation, a possible role of RNA editing in regulation of the NDH complex cannot be completely disregarded. To expand the investigation concerning the role of RNA editing, plastid transformation can be utilised. Due to the absence of a protocol for plastid transformation of perennial ryegrass, a study was dedicated to design such a protocol. However despite extensive evaluation of all the involved factors in the transformation process, a working protocol was not established. Nevertheless small adjustments to this protocol in the future could potentially lead to an extension of the plastid transformation technology to this species.
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