Towards Understanding the Importance and Divergence of the OMP85 homologs Toc75 and OEP80

Student Name: 
Aditya Srinivasan
UCD Department: 
Plant Sciences
UCD Mentor: 
Dr. Kentaro Inoue

This study focuses on the relationship between two OMP85 homologs, Toc75 and OEP80, derived from an ancestral cyanobacterial protein. These two homologs are present within modern-day chloroplasts. OEP80 is hypothesized to play an important role in seedling development much like its sister protein – Toc75. This study attempts to determine the function of OEP80 as well as its necessary expression time (in either the seed, germination, or seedling stage). By creating mutants without a properly functioning OEP80 gene and rescuing these mutants using genetic constructs, this study compares the functional sequences of OEP80 and Toc75. These constructs can then be used to determine the exact time (stage of plant development) and role that the OEP80 plays in functioning and normal development of plants.