Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Basil J. Nikolau
The primary surfaces of the arial parts of plants, and the surfaces of reproductive organs are covered by an extra cellular layer called the cuticle. The cuticle provides the foremost protection to the plant in order to adapt to the terrestrial environment. The cuticle composed of a biopolymer (cutin), which is embedded in a coating of cuticular waxes. Understanding the biochemical, genetic and physiological mechanisms for the biosynthesis of these cuticular waxes is relatively poor. This body of work has established methods for the chemical analysis of the cuticular waxes of maize plants. I have used these methods to chemically characterize cuticular waxes and intermediates of cuticular wax biosynthesis in mutant plants that show aberrant accumulation of these components. In addition, I have generated a yeast-based heterologous expression system for testing the biochemical and genetic properties of genes that are involved in cuticular wax biosynthesis. These accomplishments have set the stage for deciphering the complexity of cuticular wax biosynthesis.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
M. Ann D. N. Perera
Perera, M. Ann D. N., "Molecular and chemical characterization of genes involved in maize cuticular wax biosynthesis " (2005). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 1933.