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assays for sugar/starch and RubisCO

Mark A Vandermeulen vander+ at pitt.edu
Thu Dec 4 16:24:00 EST 1997

[I previously posted this request to the plant-ed list. I appologize for
the duplication for those of you who read both lists.]

        I am a graduate student in the Ecology and Evolution section at
the University of Pittsburgh. My advisor (Steven Tonsor) and I are
interested in setting up a research project investigating the norms of
reaction of a number of plant traits in _Arabidopsis thaliana_ to elevated
carbon dioxide levels. Plants grown under elevated CO2 typically exhibit
increased sugar levels in their leaves and down-regulation of activity of
RubisCO as well as its transcription. However, these changes do not appear
to be largely adaptive; many plants appear unable to allocate this extra
energy to increased growth or reproduction. To further understand this
phenomenon, we are interested in assays that we could use to quantify the
following properties: 1.) sugar concentrations in plant organs, 2.) starch
concentrations in plant organs, 3.) some measure of the relative amounts
of their nitrogen budget plants spend on building and maintaining the
photosynthetic apparatus, and 4.) some measure of the realtive amount of
their nitrogen budget plants spend on proteins associated with starch
anabolism. Any assay that is selected will need to be reasonably cheap and
time-efficient, because the nature of phenotypic plasticity studies
necessitates sampling a large number of individuals. We would be very
interested in any citations that the members of this forum could supply
for such assays, as well as discussion of their relative merits and

Mark VanderMeulen, Ph.D. candidate
Univeristy of Pittsburgh
vander+ at pitt.edu

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