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Specification of Root Vascular Pattern in Monocots

Final Report Summary - ROOTVASC (Specification of Root Vascular Pattern in Monocots)

This project involves investigating the gene regulatory networks controlling vascular patterning in rice and Arabidopsis. The methodology includes theoretical work (mathematical modelling) and experimental biology.
The principal objectives are
* construct a mathematical model capable of predicting vascular pattern de-novo based on the Arabidopsis gene networks.
* Investigate differences in gene networks between rice and Arabidopsis
* Feed these differences into the mathematical model and use this information to inform future experimentation with promising targets to engineer rice plants with alternative vascular patterns.
* Create transgenic rice lines with alternative vascular patterns and assay them for water uptake.
Since the start of the project we have made considerable progress with the mathematical model. We initially ran simulations in a growing 3D template, but now have used a 1D model around a ring of cells. This has allowed us to investigate the effect that any sized template has on regulating vascular pattern. This work has been submitted for publication.
We have generated many resources to investigate the differences between gene networks in rice and Arabidopsis and as we analyse them we will feed this information into the mathematical model. This has involved both biochemical assays, gene expression studies and transcomplemantion of the model plant Arabidopsis.
We have created transgenic lines in rice, both reporter genes and also mutants using the CRISPR/Cas technology. The reporter lines have been analysed, but the mutants are ongoing. I have secured funding from the university for an extra year to complete this work.
We have written and submitted the mathematical model for publication and the anticipate submitting the studies regarding the molecular networks early next year.