Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Nathaniel Hauck


The moss Physcomitrella patens is an invaluable non-vascular plant specimen to study genetic interactions because its entire genome is sequenced. Therefore, any gene studies conducted in more evolved vascular plants can be transferred to this specimen fairly easily by utilizing comparative genomic techniques made possible through the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The questions that were asked in this thesis revolved around the Systemic Acquired Resistance, or the basic mechanism that allows plants to protect themselves against biotic and abiotic stressors. Two main approaches were used to analyze this complex system. First, an analytical chemistry technique was used to quantify the products formed from this system, mainly the plant hormone salicylic acid. Second, the defense-related genes that code for these hormones were also analyzed. The findings of this study are strictly preliminary, but it does appear that the defense-related PAL genes play a major role in plant defense when exposed to a pathogen-like elicitor.

Included in

Biology Commons