Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Chemistry

Subject(s)

Botrytis cinerea., Pathogenic fungi., Phytotoxins.

Abstract

Botrytis cinerea, known as gray mold, infects over 230 plant species. This necrotrophic fungus causes billions of dollars in agricultural losses per year worldwide, despite 15-20 million dollars being spent on anti-botrytis products. A major contributing factor for infection is the release of the phytotoxic virulence factor Snod1. Snod1 belongs to the class of ceratoplatanins (CPs), which are known to possess virulence and pathogenic potential to a wide range of plant species. Snod1 was produced in Pichia pastoris yeast in high quantities to test its phytotoxic nature on plant leaves. During the course of expression, Snod1 exhibited one of its CP type characteristics, by assembling into higher oligomer forms. Functional assays were performed on three different plant leaves, tomato, tobacco and Arabidopsis. A vector construct was designed for future transgenic plant development that potentially has greater resistance to infection.

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