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Abstract Detail


Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Renner, Tanya [1], Starkey, Sarah [2], Specht, Chelsea [3].

Chitinases and the Evolution of Plant Carnivory.

Proteins in the chitinase gene family are involved in the hydrolyzation of glycosidic bonds in chitin, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamines found in the exoskeletons of insects and the cell walls of fungi. As pathogen-related (PR) proteins in plants, chitinase genes are expressed in response to insect and fungal attacks. In carnivorous plants, certain chitinases are utilized in the digestion of prey and are secreted from specialized digestive glands found within morphologically diverse traps. The degree of homology among carnivorous plant chitinases across genera within the Caryophyllales and the method by which these enzymes have been adapted for the carnivorous habit has yet to be elucidated. The goals of my project are to: (1) develop a strong phylogeny for the species of carnivorous plants within Caryophyllales as a reference point from which to study the evolution of chitinases; (2) conduct evolutionary analyses of specialized chitinases to test the hypothesis that carnivory evolved using existing proteins.


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Related Links:
Specht Lab Website


1 - University of California, Berkeley, Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall MC 3102, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3102, USA
2 - University of California, Plant and Microbial Biology, Berkeley, California, 94720, USA
3 - University of California, Berkeley, Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall MC 3102, Berkeley, California, 94720-3102, USA

Keywords:
molecular evolution
Caryophyllales
carnivorous
Chitinase.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PME008
Abstract ID:725


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