Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Dr. Marianne Laporte, Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Aaron Liepman, Member

Committee Member

Dr. Glenn Walker, Member


Stomata are microscopic pores in the epidermis of plants that regulate gas exchange and transpiration. Regulation of stomatal behavior offers opportunity for crop improvement; stomata are also useful for research into cell patterning, differentiation, and development. The purpose of this project was to create a reverse genetics, microscopy-based screening method to identify Arabidopsis genes important in guard cell development. It was hypothesized that gene coexpression analysis would facilitate identification of gene candidates involved in stomatal development. Plants harboring mutations in the candidate genes were analyzed to detect a stomatal phenotype, using dental resin impressions and light microscopy. Coexpression screening was a good method to find relevant genes. Twenty-four genes were identified as candidates; four genes presented a stomatal phenotype and should be further studied. Three candidates were reported to have critical roles in stomatal development, validating the method. This study provided a basis for future studies in stomatal functional genetics.


Additional committee member: Dr. Robert Winning, Member

Included in

Biology Commons