Mary Skinner

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Dr. Marianne Laporte

Committee Member

Dr. Glenn Walker

Committee Member

Dr. James VandenBosch


Plant cell walls are the most abundant source of renewable biomass on Earth. Cell wall carbohydrates have many practical applications (e.g., forage, building materials, biofuels, textiles, paper, etc.), and within plants they contribute to structure, provide defense, and facilitate cellular communication. This study is focused on the CELLULOSE SYNTHASELIKE A (CSLA) family, members of which have been implicated in the synthesis of the backbone of mannan polysaccharides in plant cell walls. The Arabidopsis genome contains nine CSLA genes and we hypothesize that there is some degree of functional redundancy among these genes. A detailed investigation of transgenic Arabidopsis plants harboring promoter-GUS fusions at various phases of growth and development was conducted to examine the expression patterns of all nine CSLA genes. The expression patterns observed were largely overlapping, supporting the functional redundancy hypothesis. Some unique exceptions were also documented, providing insights into possible focal regions for future mutational studies.


Additional committee member: Dr. Aaron Liepman

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Biology Commons