Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Adán Colón-Carmona

Second Advisor

Linda Huang

Third Advisor

Kellee Siegfried-Harris


Plant growth and development relies on coordinated and timely division that produces functional cells with different fates. Checkpoints exist within each phase of the cell cycle such as the G1 checkpoint that checks for DNA damage and the G2 checkpoint that ensures that DNA has been replicated. In mitosis, the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC), another surveillance mechanism, ensures proper chromosome segregation. We have identified a protein of Arabidopsis thaliana, Centromere Associated Protein-E (CENP-E), that associates with the kinetochore protein complex which associates with the centromere of chromosomes. We call the gene AtCENPE2. An insertion mutation, which we call atcenpe2-1, affects the proper alignment of chromosomes, and causes a slower time to divide. The atcenpe2-1 mutant exhibits stunted growth, embryonic defects, and defects in male gametogenesis, and we show that the mutation is transmissible via pollen and ovules. Mutants have altered root apical meristem morphologies, as well as altered transport of auxin, known to regulate both shoot and root growth and development. Additionally, the mutation causes altered cell divisions in the leaf, resulting in abnormal development and placement of stomatal pores. This research hopes to add to the understanding of mitosis, hormonal integration and regulation of mitotic progression, and the potential link between cell division and cell fate.


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