Presentation Title

Acidity and Aquaporin Expression in Tank Bromeliads

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-66

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

The study of aquaporins (AQP) has become an area of interest for cell and molecular biologists. AQPs are channel proteins responsible for transporting water across cell membranes. In bromeliads that lack an absorptive root structure, plants must store water in their self-made tank and use reserves to channel water throughout the plant. Studying their unique anatomy and cellular and molecular composition provides a jumpstart to understanding biochemical pathways of these epiphytes. Tank and transition—where the leaf changes from white to green—leaf tissue of Guzmania lingulata and Guzmania monostachia found in the tropical rain forest of northeastern Costa Rica were studied in the first experiment. AQPs, more specifically PIP1, abundance was quantified using quantitative Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) and compared among plants with tank content of low and high pH values. Though PIP1 expression in the transition zone of G. monostachia was significantly higher in bromeliads with low tank content than in bromeliads with high tank content pH, no other results were significant. In G. lingulata, however, there was a higher PIP1 expression trend in plants with higher pH content in the tank and transition zone. The light induced gene, Ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase Large subunit (rbcL) was also quantified using qRT-PCR but showed no statistically significant results.

To further study biochemical pathways in tank bromeliads, a second experiment showed how G. monostachia proton pumps decrease the pH of water to a significantly lower value than the pH of water placed in an artificial tank bromeliad. The continuous study of water relations under varying environmental conditions in bromeliads can help us to understand how bromeliads respond to the continually changing rainforest ecosystem.

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Acidity and Aquaporin Expression in Tank Bromeliads

HUB 302-66

The study of aquaporins (AQP) has become an area of interest for cell and molecular biologists. AQPs are channel proteins responsible for transporting water across cell membranes. In bromeliads that lack an absorptive root structure, plants must store water in their self-made tank and use reserves to channel water throughout the plant. Studying their unique anatomy and cellular and molecular composition provides a jumpstart to understanding biochemical pathways of these epiphytes. Tank and transition—where the leaf changes from white to green—leaf tissue of Guzmania lingulata and Guzmania monostachia found in the tropical rain forest of northeastern Costa Rica were studied in the first experiment. AQPs, more specifically PIP1, abundance was quantified using quantitative Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) and compared among plants with tank content of low and high pH values. Though PIP1 expression in the transition zone of G. monostachia was significantly higher in bromeliads with low tank content than in bromeliads with high tank content pH, no other results were significant. In G. lingulata, however, there was a higher PIP1 expression trend in plants with higher pH content in the tank and transition zone. The light induced gene, Ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase Large subunit (rbcL) was also quantified using qRT-PCR but showed no statistically significant results.

To further study biochemical pathways in tank bromeliads, a second experiment showed how G. monostachia proton pumps decrease the pH of water to a significantly lower value than the pH of water placed in an artificial tank bromeliad. The continuous study of water relations under varying environmental conditions in bromeliads can help us to understand how bromeliads respond to the continually changing rainforest ecosystem.