Search for a Knox gene in Kalanchöe pinnatum

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Gleason, Ryan Michael
biology; Biology; Genetics and Genomics
thesis / dissertation description
Knox genes have been found in nearly all eukaryotic organisms. These genes code for a protein that is able to bind DNA. By binding to DNA, it is capable of controlling the expression of other genes. The coded sequence of these genes has been determined in many different organisms, but has yet to be searched for in the air plant, Kalanchoe pinnatum. I did research over the past year in an attempt to find the coded sequence of Kalanchoe's Knox gene. I grew Kalanchoe in Butler's greenhouse to accumulate enough plant material to begin work. I then extracted the RNA from the plant and converted it into a more stable from, DNA, using a procedure called RT-PCR. PCR amplified the small amount of original RNA into large quantities of DNA using Knox-specific primers. This DNA was then sent to a commercial lab where its coded sequence was determined and returned. I then compared the coded sequence to other known Knox sequences to determine the reliability of the results received. As a result of this work, a relative of Knox genes was found in Kalanchoe pinnatum and the partial RNA sequence was determined. This work provides for further comparison of Knox gene sequences between species.