Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

First Advisor

Philip W. Becraft


Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a type of phytohormone that has important roles in plant development. Even though they are well studied in model species, their role in maize development is poorly understood. To address this issue, two approaches were undertaken. Since it was shown mutations in BRs biosynthesis or signaling cause dwarfism in other plants, novel maize dwarf mutants were screened to see if they are related to the BRs. Phenotypic and genetic characterization led to the identification and genetic mapping of at least 2 likely candidates. The results of this work are presented in Chapter 2. In the second part, a transgenic approach was pursued. Four genes related to the either BR biosynthesis or signaling were manipulated by overexpression or RNAi suppression to investigate their roles in the growth and development of maize. The preliminary results suggest that similar to other plants, BRs also regulate plant height in maize. In addition, they appear to influence reproductive development and leaf morphology. This work is shown in Chapter 3. This and future studies based on the results shown here will help provide an understanding of BR's role in maize development.


Copyright Owner

Gokhan Kir



Date Available


File Format


File Size

92 pages