Trichomes are hairlike structures on the surface of many plant species. They are used to protect plants and store important compounds for plants. They are also important targets in many industries including the pharmaceutical industry as these compounds can be extracted and purified. Despite the possible monetary gains in understanding genetic factors in trichome development, there has yet to be a research focus specifically on loci of genes that influence trichome type. Gilia capitata and Gilia yorkii are organisms of interest for this research due to their fast growth, ability to hybridize, and different trichome morphologies. G. capitata has villous trichomes that are long and wispy. G. yorkii has glandular trichomes that have a large sphere at the tip. When these organisms hybridize, they form an F1 generation that has both villous and glandular trichomes. After the creation of an F1 generation, the plants can be further backcrossed to produce a fertile backcross population that also exhibits the glandular and villous trichome combination. When the backcross population is scored with a simple count comparing glandular to villous trichomes, the ratio ranges from 50% of each type of trichome to nearly 100% glandular trichomes. Using an analysis of over 200 individuals from this backcross population, we determine that trichome development in Gilia is likely polygenic due to a unimodal curve of the trichome distribution. Using a QTL analysis, we show that genes for trichome development are most likely present on chromosome 8 of the G. yorkii and G. capitata genomes.
University / Institution: Brigham Young University
Format: In Person
SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Clint Whipple