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Applications of biotechnology for crop enhancement in disease resistance and nutrition

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Title
Applications of biotechnology for crop enhancement in disease resistance and nutrition
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Low
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Yee Chen
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1990-
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Yee Chen Low
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Rong
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Rong Di
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Michael A
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Michael A Lawton
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Dong
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Juan
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Juan Dong
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SAMUEL I
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Rutgers University
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School of Graduate Studies
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theses
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2019
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2019-10
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2019
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English
Abstract (type = abstract)
Developments in plant biotechnology are providing solutions for addressing the problems and challenges of sustainable agriculture and providing healthy food. Engineering disease resistant and nutritionally improved agricultural crops is integral to the application of plant biotechnology. In this thesis study, our core interests are on (i), studying and manipulating the economically important plant disease Fusarium head blight (FHB) by generating CRISPR-edited Arabidopsis resistant mutant plants; and (ii), producing nutritionally enhanced tomato plants with a two-in-one strategy.

FHB caused by Fusarium graminearium (Fg) is a devastating disease of crops especially wheat and barley, resulting in significant yield loss and reduced grain quality. Fg also produces mycotoxins, which are chemicals that are toxic to humans and livestock upon consumption. In order to examine potential susceptibility genes in barley and to enhance host resistance to FHB, two susceptibility genes, 2-oxoglutarate Fe(II)-dependent oxygenase (2OGO) and ethylene insensitive 2 (EIN2) genes were chosen for this study. Mutation of the 2OGO gene has been shown to enhance plant defense genes’ expression, leading to FHB resistance in Arabidopsis, indicating that 2OGO is a plant immunity suppressor. Previous reports showed that both loss-of-function Arabidopsis EIN2 gene and attenuated expression of wheat EIN2 gene conferred resistance to Fg, leading to the speculation that the ethylene signaling pathway is hijacked by Fg. We have used CRISPR/Cas9-gene editing to precisely mutate these two Arabidopsis FHB susceptibility genes. Our results indicated that both At2OGO- and AtEIN2-gene knocked-out (KO) mutants were resistant to FHB such that Fg growth was greatly impeded. A critical part of this study is that phenotype could be restored in gene complementation assays using the barley gene orthologues Hv2OGO and HvEIN2 in the At2OGO- and AtEIN2-KO mutants, thus demonstrating their involvement in FHB susceptibility, and indicating the molecular targets for similar gene editing of these genes in barley plants.

Genistein is one of the major isoflavones found abundantly in soybeans. It is a promising medicinal compound with anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, anti-Alzheimer’s and anti-osteoporosis effect due to its phytoestrogenic and antioxidant properties. Since soy products are not commonly consumed in the western diet as compared to the eastern diet, genetically engineered Moneymaker tomato which produces genistein provides a natural route to increase the intake of genistein in food without relying on supplements. We have successfully engineered Moneymaker tomato to produce a level of genistein, that is up to 250-fold the levels found in the wildtype (WT) tomato plants. Transgenic tomatoes expressing genistein, were used to study the compound’s anti-Alzheimer’s effects on the amyloid β-expressing C. elegans disease model. Our results show that a combination of feeding genistein and lycopene can significantly delay Alzheimer’s disease progression and reduce neuronal damage.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Plant Biology
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Wheat fusarium culmorum head blight
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Tomatoes -- Genetic engineering
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Genistein
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Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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1 online resource (xv, 134 pages) : illustrations
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Ph.D.
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Includes bibliographical references
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School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-q1yp-3v39
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
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Name
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Low
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Yee Chen
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Permission or license
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2019-09-29 20:54:39
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Yee Chen Low
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Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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2019-10-31
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2021-10-30
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Access to this PDF has been restricted at the author's request. It will be publicly available after October 30th, 2021.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
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Open
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Permission or license
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