Plant experiments for large classes

Jon Monroe monroejd at
Tue Jul 28 10:05:58 EST 1998


I just received this message from Jackie Nugent at National University of
Ireland regarding her desire to find interesting plant exercises using
Arabidopsis mutants and/or transformants in a large class.  I suspect
someone here can help.  I pointed her to the Arabidopsis stock center in
Nottingham UK (, which is similar to another stock
center at Ohio State (, as a source of seeds
(small numbers so plan to amplify them).  If anyone has written up a good
exercise for a large class using promoter-GUS transformed Arabidopsis,
please let us know how it works!  Please reply here and to Jackie directly
(jnugent at


Jon Monroe

>Dear Jon,
>I got your name from the internet - when I was searching for information
>on plant physiology labs for undergraduates.  I give about 8 lectures to third
>year students - on plants responses to temperature and light - and
>photoperiodism.  We have very large classes - approx 150 students.  Students
>are "Biology" majors - most not interested in plants.  I am trying
>to come up with ideas for some experiments which will illustrate the
>lecture material and also be a bit more interesting for students than the
>more traditional  plant phys. practicals.  Have you used any Arabidopsis
>transformants in your practical classes - e.g Arabidopsis transformed with
>CAB:Gus - that might illustrate how light can activate gene expression;
>Arabidopsis transformed with GUS driven by a cold responsive promoter?
>We have very limited growth facilities - and I have very limited experience of
>Plant Physiology - have you any suggestions for setting up Red/Far red
>treatments for Plants?
>lastly (sorry) - have you used Arabidopsis Phytochrome; cryptochrome, UV-B
>receptor mutants in experiments to demonstrate photmorphogenesis?
>Sorry for being a pain - at the moment I am on a crusade to come up
>with "interesting" plant experiments - and I would appreciate any
>help I can get.
>Best wishes,
>Jackie Nugent
>Biology Department
>National University of Ireland
>Co. Kildare

  Jonathan Monroe
  Associate Professor
  Department of Biology
  James Madison University
  Harrisonburg, VA 22807
  voice:  540-568-6649 (office)
          540-568-6045 (lab)
  fax:    540-568-3333
  e-mail: monroejd at

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