Abstract - Crown roots make up the bulk of the mature root system in grasses and are essential for anchorage and water and nutrient absorption. Our work in the panicoid grass model system Setaria viridis suggests the presence of environmentally dependent signaling pathways that promote or suspend crown root development depending on water availability. We have isolated a S. viridis mutant, designated crown root defective (crd-1), that negatively affects crown root development under well-watered conditions. Interestingly, drought stress followed by rewatering can temporarily rescue the mutant phenotype. To better understand how crown root development is regulated under different watering conditions, we are currently characterizing this mutant using histological, molecular, and biochemical approaches.
Biography - Willian Viana is a graduate student in the group of Associate Professor José Dinneny at Stanford University in California. He received his B.Sc. from the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil. During this program, he did an exchange year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This was followed by an internship on crown root postemergence growth in the group of José Dinneny. In 2019, he returned to the same group to start his graduate studies where he explores crown root development using the model species Setaria viridis.