Oxidized Cell Wall Fragments in Plant Growth and Development
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Cell wall fragments may function as regulators of plant cell division, growth and development. The best characterized of these are the p-benzoquinones (pBQs) derived from the oxidation of cell wall phenols by reactive oxygen species (ROS)1,2. ROS are known to accumulate at sites associated with cell division, elongation, and wounding in plants. We propose that pBQs accumulate at these sites and play a role in regulating these crucial events. Prior studies have confirmed that pBQs, like DMBQ, inhibit root growth2. We are utilizing the model system Arabidopsis thaliana because of its fast growing time, well defined pattern of growth, and array of genetic resources to evaluate physiological as well as molecular responses to pBQ signals. Hypothesis: pBQs modulate ROS production in A. thaliana. Experiment: Expose seedlings to pBQs and evaluate for changes in ROS production with NBT, a ROS-sensitive stain. Significance: Controlling this redox signaling pathway could provide unprecedented regulation over growth and development, as well as stress responses in plants.