Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

David N. Kuhn

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Javier Francisco-Ortega

Third Advisor's Name

Ray Schnell

Date of Defense



There are over a half a million plant species on earth, and we use them in virtually every aspect of our lives. Little or no genomic information exists about the vast majority of these plants. This study investigated the use of Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) to locate highly conserved sequences from which to design a set of universal molecular markers for all plant species. Plant species for this study were chosen to representative of the plant kingdom. This was done by sampling several individuals of at least one species from all of the major terrestrial plant groups.

Conserved sequences are generally found in a wide range of plants species and often in all plant species. A set of eight degenerate primers was designed specifically to detect Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) using capillary array electrophoresis-single stranded conformational polymorphism (CAE-SSCP). The results of this research confirmed that homologous regions of the genome could be used to design universal molecular markers for all plant species.




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