Shining a Light on Gene Expression

by Amanda Roder, Jessi Knutson, and Alli Kirchgatter
Faculty advisor: Dr. James Hampton

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2008 was given to several scientists for their studies of the green fluorescent protein as a reporter system. This research has opened the doors to using fluorescent proteins on both the molecular and organismal levels. The purpose of our research is to study gene expression in plants, utilizing fluorescence as a reporter gene system. A plasmid was obtained that contains a 35S plant promoter driving the expression of CFP and YFP. Using Petunia hybrida, cultures have been prepared to initiate the growth of callus, undifferentiated plant cells. Those cell lines have been injected with DNA plasmid using an aerosol beam injector. The effectiveness of this novel transmission system is being evaluated.