Keluo Yao

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2007

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Ramesh Raina

Honors Reader

Dr. Scott Erdman

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology


Like most complex living organisms, plants have many mechanisms to prevent disease by microbial pathogens. One of the most important and well developed defense systems that involve recognition, identification and systematic response is the hypersensitive response.

The hypersensitive response is a complex, early defense response against pathogens that causes necrosis and cell death at the site of infection to restrict the spread of pathogen. Hypersensitive response is a type of programmed cell death, and its activation usually happens when the plant recognizes a pathogen through an elicitor. This recognition triggers a series of signal transductions events which end in the expression of several defense-associated genes. The result of those responses causes death of plant cells and the formation of local lesions, creating barriers and hostile environment to inhibit the spread of infection.

The work in our laboratory has identified several hundred Arabidopsis genes that are differentially expressed in response to pathogen infection. In addition to regulating defense against pathogens, some of these genes are likely to be involved in regulating other plant physiological processes. To determine the role of these genes in regulating defense against pathogens and other biotic and abiotic stresses, I have analyzed responses to knockout mutants of several of these genes to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses. My results suggest that many of the pathogen defence-related genes are also involved in regulating other biotic and abiotic stresses.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Biochemistry Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.