The Cardinal Edge


Prenylation is a type of post-translational modification in which a 15- or 20-carbon lipid is added to the carboxyl (C) terminus of the protein. Arabidopsis thaliana contains the PROTEIN PRENYLTRANSFERASE ALPHA SUBUNIT-LIKE (PPAL) gene, which encodes a protein with homology to the α-subunits of the three known prenylation enzymes, PFT, PGGT, and Rab-GGT. We previously identified two mutations in PPAL, one of which is ppal-1, which contains a T-DNA insertion in the fourth intron. We have previously observed that self-fertilizing heterozygous ppal-1 plants produce progeny in which homozygous ppal-1 is underrepresented. This project attempts to ascertain possible affects of ppal-1 in gametophyte growth and development that might cause this underrepresented homozygous ppal-1 population.

Crosses were performed between homozygous ppal-1 and wild-type (WT) plants. Both F0 and F1 generations were genotyped. The results indicated that there was WT contamination of the ppal-1 F0 population. The data also indicated the ppal-1 primers were nonfunctional. Additionally, a pollen germination test was performed for both ppal-1and WT plants. The results indicated that ppal-1 pollen had developmental delays for germination, but upon germination, they could form pollen tubules of equal length to the WT pollen. However, due to the likely WT contamination in the ppal-1 population used, these experiments must be replicated in further studies.