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Arabidopsis Response to Benzo(A)PYRENE

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Title:Arabidopsis Response to Benzo(A)PYRENE
Authors:Irikura, Beth
Date Issued:2008
Abstract:This project investigates the effects of the carcinogenic environmental pollutant benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) on the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Columbia. Previous research has demonstrated phytodegradation of BaP, in the presence and absence of microorganisms. BaP and its metabolites have been detected in plant tissues, but the parent compound is only found in parts-per-billion quantities in most plants.' Increases in plant biomass and lifespan have been observed after growth in BaP, raising questions about how plants are able to benefit from a compound that is detrimental to most other eukaryotes. Since plants share many of the same molecules used by animals in response to BaP (e.g. cytochrome P450, peroxidases, laccases, glutathione, glycosylases and aminotransferases), it has been assumed that they employ similar mechanisms to degrade BaP. Until now, investigations of these mechanisms were limited by methodological constraints. In this study, we applied genetic and genomic tools to determine specific gene expression responses to BaP in Arabidopsis. Particular attention was paid to the mechanisms by which BaP tolerance was achieved in the plant. Much research has shown functional equivalence between homologous genes in plants and animals, hence the results of this study may have applications in biomedical research on molecular mechanisms of BaP effects in mammals.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/56128
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Horticulture


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