Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


First Advisor

Paul E Staswick

Date of this Version


Document Type



Jaspinder and Staswick (2018), Biological Activity of a Tertiary Amine Plant Growth Regulator, BMVE, in Arabidopsis thaliana and Wheat.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Degree Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agronomy, Under the Supervision of Professor Paul E. Staswick. Lincoln, Nebraska: November 2018.

Copyright (c) 2018 Jaspinder Singh


Plant growth regulators are synthetic compounds that influence plant growth and development and can increase growth, yield, and nutritive value of food crops. Research in the past has shown that a class of plant growth regulators known collectively as substituted tertiary amines have the potential to increase crop productivity, photosynthetic efficiency, and overall plant vigor. However, earlier efficacy studies that involved spraying plants were sometimes inconsistent or showed only minimal benefits. A new delivery method involving seed application of tertiary amines before sowing has shown promise in field trials for multiple crop species (US patent 9464283) (Yokoyama, Chan, Oyama, & Hov, 2015). The goal of this study is to determine how the seed treatment with 2-(N-methylbenzylaminoethyl)-3-methylbutanoate (BMVE) affects plant growth and productivity. To link the effect of BMVE with plant phenotype, precise temporal changes in wheat growth were measured by using high-throughput phenotyping in a controlled environment. During these experiments, it was also determined whether BMVE is beneficial under drought conditions. A classical phenotyping approach was also followed to evaluate the effect of BMVE on early growth stages of wheat. Additionally, transcriptome analysis was done to identify differential gene expression in response to BMVE in Arabidopsis. An Arabidopsis mutant conferring reduced sensitivity to BMVE was characterized and used to map the resistant locus. These experiments were aimed at deciphering the mode of action and regulatory pathway of BMVE, which have been unclear so far.

Advisor: Paul E. Staswick