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Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities


Wheat production decreases due to many stresses. Drought stress and lodging (Fig. 1), caused by storms and overgrowth, both reduce yield [1]. My previous work showed induction of drought tolerance in wheat by root colonization of PcO6; drought tolerance was maintained when wheat seedlings were grown with CuO nanoparticles (NPs) (Doxey, Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium Dec 2016). The shoots of wheat grown with PcO6 and CuO NPs were more rigid than shoots grown without either treatment. This work examines whether the rigidity in the shoots was due to lignification as well as a higher water content. Toluidine Blue O (TBO) and phloroglucinol stain lignin, blue and red respectively [3,4,5]. Consequently, I used these stains to determine whether the lignin content in wheat was increased by growth of PcO6- colonized plants with CuO NPs. Increased lignification of shoots could reduce lodging of wheat and decrease pressure under field conditions.

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