Author Information

Rachel Medina


Meloidogyne incognita is an obligate parasitic roundworm that infects the root tips of a wide variety of host plants. This infection directly affects the crop production globally with the loss of crops such as tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes. Nematode infection manipulates the plant root by altering gene expression for nematode benefit. Genes such as At2g42005, a putative amino acid transporter, have been found to be upregulated by nematode infection. Characterizing the role of the At2g42005 gene in Arabidopsis thaliana is the first step to understanding its function in nematode infection. The role of At2g42005 were explored by creation of a promoter:GUS vector and gene expression investigation by RT-PCR. The GUS vector is a molecular tool that allows for visualization of gene expression within the tissues of the plant. After plasmid cloning and bacterial transformation, a promoter:GUS vector was created for insertion into flowering plants for visual staining of gene expression. RNA was extracted from various plant tissues and RT-PCR performed to determine At2g42005 expression patterns. The gene At2g42005 was found to be expressed in all tissues examined. Further investigation of RNA expression will be done using qPCR to quantify At2g42005 levels.

Note on the Author

Rachel Medina graduated in January 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She began this research in 2012 with a semester grant and a summer grant funded by the Adrian Tinsley Program under the direction of Dr. Heather Marella. This project was presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the summer of 2012 and in La Crosse, Wisconsin in April 2013 for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

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