University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Open tools in Marchantia for plant bioengineering work and as a platform for elucidating morphogenesis

Open tools in Marchantia for plant bioengineering work and as a platform for elucidating morphogenesis

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At OpenPlant we are establishing Marchantia as a testbed for plant synthetic biology. The relative simplicity of genetic networks in Marchantia, combined with the growing set of genetic manipulation, culture and microscopy techniques, are set to make this primitive plant a major new system for analysis and engineering.

I will update on the open tools we are generating in Prof. Haseloff lab, and how we aim at applying them for elucidating and engineering morphogenesis.

We are setting up standardised practices for DNA assembly, compiling a Marchantia DNA toolkit and establishing registries to facilitate standardisation and sharing. The constructs are compatible with the OpenMTA, and thus suitable for open distribution. The DNA toolkit includes parts for selection of successful transformants, quantitative imaging of multispectral markers and targeted mutagenesis with CRISPR /Cas9, and aims at maximising efficiency and reproducibility of Marchantia workflows.

We have also generated a collection of proximal promoters of all Marchantia transcription factors (TFs), to screen for tissue specific expression patterns. Another source of tissue-specific lines comes from the screening of the enhancer trap lines developed in the lab. We are especially interested in lines that tag specific cell types and reveal developmental transitions during air chamber development. To help elucidating air chamber morphogenesis we aim at doing a targeted high-throughput mutagenesis screen of Marchantia TFs with a library of gRNAs.

The synthetic biology, Marchantia and wider plant science communities are coming together around OpenPlant and being pivotal in bringing its goals forward.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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