Can Point Mutations in Kinetochore Proteins Create Haploid Plants in Arabidopsis thaliana?

Brenda Marin-Rodriguez

Abstract

Haploid plants can greatly accelerate plant breeding. They were previously generated by crossing wild-type (WT) Arabidopsis thaliana plants to a transgenic haploid inducer with defects in its centromeres. After fertilization, defects in chromosomes from the haploid inducer resulted in their loss from the zygote. The result of these crosses was that 25-50% of progeny had genetic material from only the WT parent. Currently, only one type of haploid inducer exists. To extend the benefits of using haploid inducers to agriculture, not only do more types of haploid inducers need to be made, but also haploid inducers must be made with minimal DNA changes. This study aims to create haploid inducers by chemically inducing point mutations in conserved areas of CENH3. The three point mutations investigated were A86V, R176K and W178*. Results found that A86V and W178* are not haploid inducers, and the R176K point mutant is a weak haploid inducer.

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