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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Pillitteri, Lynn

Second Advisor

Young, Jeff C. (Jeffery C.)

Third Advisor

Leaf, David Scott, 1955-


Stomata are found on the surfaces of land plants and are crucial for regulating gas exchange between plants and the atmosphere. These structures are composed of a pore that is surrounded by two specialized guard cells. The critical importance of stomata in providing CO2 uptake while controlling the release of water has made them a prime target for improvement of plant productivity and water use efficiency. In Arabidopsis, the production of a mature stomata requires the expression of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) master regulatory gene, MUTE. The function of MUTE and its expression pattern have been characterized. In this study, promoter deletion analysis of MUTE was performed to identify specific regions that control the spatiotemporal expression of MUTE. Expression vectors with truncated promoter segments driving the expression of GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) were transformed into Arabidopsis. A region of 110-bp was identified as required for MUTE expression. This 110-bp region was further analyzed for putative cis-elements using publicly available databases. Seven possible CREs (CIS-Regulatory Elements) were identified which are known binding sites for transcription factors involved in development, dehydration, light regulation, and stomatal pore physiology. Three of these putative elements were chosen for targeted mutagenesis to produce GFP expression vectors for future molecular characterization in A.thaliana. This work provides novel insight into the regulatory mechanism driving MUTE expression and offers new tools for identifying key regulatory elements in the future.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Arabidopsis--Genetics; Stomata; Promoters (Genetics); Mutagenesis; Gene expression




masters theses




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