Student Research Projects

Quantification and Characterization of Arabinogalactan Proteins (AGPs) in Marchantia polymorpha

Student Justin Bloom, '17
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Biology
Course BIO 489: Research in Natural Sciences


Arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) are a widespread group of cell surface molecules, known to be important in the development of plants, particularly on reproductive tissues. AGPs are characterized by being highly glycosylated, having a proline/hydroxyproline-rich core backbone, N-terminal signal peptide, and a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylineositol (GPI) anchor. This research investigates the model liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, and compares the dynamic populations of these proteins in its vegetative thallus and sperm-producing antheridiophores. This initial characterization will be used to further investigate the involvement of AGPs in the development of gametes. AGPs are notably absent from the algal ancestor to land plants, making their identification in the gametes of the Marchantiophyta a trait potentially important for plants\' migration on land. A total protein extract was done of both tissues and the amount of AGPs in the total protein extract was quantified by rocket electrophoresis. Also, an AGP profile of both tissues was assessed by dot blot analysis, which characterized the sugars present on these proteins by their ability to bind to specific monoclonal antibodies. The results of these experiments will be discussed.