Molecular basis of pigmentation in croton plants

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Case K. Okubo

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Martin Tracey

Third Advisor's Name

Jennifer Richards

Date of Defense



The striking pigmentation patterns observed in Codiaeum variegatum. commonly called croton plants, was studied at the molecular level. By hybridization experiments, we demonstrated that well known transposable genetic elements isolated from other plants systems, such as maize and snapdragon, do not control this variegation phenomenon in croton plants. The chaicone synthase gene which controls the formation of anthocyanin pigments, is present as a single copy gene in the croton genome. Northern blot experiments indicate that there is a difference in the expression of this gene in leaves located at the bottom of the plant vs. those located at the top. A genomic DNA library was constructed to perform future studies that could help to further understand variegation in crotons, as well as other plant systems.



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