Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Biology & Biomedical Sciences (Computational & Systems Biology)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Experimental studies of plant development have yielded many insights into gene regulation, revealing interactions between core transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory pathways present in all land plants. This work describes a direct connection between the three main small RNA-transcription factor circuits controlling leaf shape dynamics in the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We used a high-throughput yeast 1-hybrid platform to identify factors directly binding the promoter of the highly specialized ARGONAUTE7 silencing factor. Two groups of developmentally significant microRNA-targeted transcription factors were the clearest hits from these screens, but transgenic complementation analysis indicated that their binding sites make only a small contribution to ARGONAUTE7 function, possibly indicating a role in fine tuning. Timelapse imaging methodology developed to quantify these small differences may have broad utility for plant biologists. Our analysis also clarified requirements for polar transcription of ARGONAUTE7. This work has implications for our understanding of patterning in land plants.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

James C. Carrington

Committee Members

Douglas L. Chalker, Barbara N. Kunkel, Blake C. Meyers,


Permanent URL: