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. Steven Pernecky, Member

Committee Member

Dr. Glenn Walker, Member


Stomata are leaf structures critical for plant survival because they modulate the rate of transpiration. This study will examine a possible mode for regulating stomatal density by over-expressing NADP-dependent malic enzyme (NADP-ME), which is thought to deplete the counter-anion pool in Arabidopsis thaliana guard cells. It was hypothesized that over-expressing NADP-ME in Arabidopsis will elevate stomatal density. Scanning electron microscopy was employed to determine if any differences exist in numbers of stomatal complexes among transgenic lines and wild-type Arabidopsis. The results indicated a significant increase in stomatal numbers among some transgenic plant lines relative to the wild-type. Second, a series of molecular tests were utilized to provide NADP-ME activity and transgene expression evidence. These included western blots, tissue assay blots, enzyme activity assays, and RT-PCR reactions. Altering NADP-ME expression levels may present a putative approach for influencing stomatal development.


Dr. Robert Winning, Thesis Committee Member

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Biology Commons