Natália Moraes Silva

Natália Moraes Silva

Masters Student

e-mail: natalinhams@gmail.com

Thesis Project:

The TCP family of transcription factors is plant-specific, from unicellular algae to angiosperms. Members of this family are characterized by the presence of the TCP domain, which is responsible for sequence-specific DNA binding. They are divided into two classes (Class I and Class II) presumably acting antagonistically. The main biological role assigned to the TCPs is to regulate the balance between cell proliferation and cell differentiation. The Arabidopsis thaliana genome contains 24 TCP family members and evidences suggest that they act redundantly. TCP20 is a Class I TCP gene whose product probably acts in combination with TCP8 and TCP9 in cell cycle control and plant growth. Phenotypes have been described in vegetative tissues in cases of inhibited expression or overexpression of TCP20. The leaves of tcp20 mutants show increased epidermal cell size. We aim to determine the expression pattern of TCP20 during floral development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Another aim is to characterize, through scanning electron microscopy, the ontogenesis and cellular phenotypes of reproductive tissues of tcp20, and tcp20/tcp9, tcp20tcp8 and tcp8tcp9 double mutants.