Sidra Anwar


PhD Candidate

Thesis Title

A carotenoid-derived signal controls root architecture in Arabidopsis

Research Project

Carotenoids play key roles in plant development, photosynthesis, photoprotection, and the production of phytohormones, such as strigolactone and abscisic acid that reduce root growth and lateral root branching, respectively.  They provide a precursor for Vitamin A biosynthesis in animals and are essential for maintaining human health. Carotenoid derived molecules have emerged as regulators of root architecture. We identified carotenoid mutants having a short primary root with reduced lateral roots, yet enhanced anchor root formation. We have used a forward-genetics approach to restore wild type root phenotypes in the Arabidopsis carotenoid mutant. A next generation sequencing approach will be used to identify casual genetic loci, that can regulate carotenogenesis and/or production of an apocarotenoid that controls root architecture. Knowledge of new carotenoid-derived signalling processes can improve food nutrition and facilitate the development of genetic markers that advance horticultural breeding programs to engineer better anchoring root architectural systems.


Dr Chris Cazzonelli, Professor Priti Krishna, A/Professor Zhonghua Chen