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Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone with regulatory roles in many physiological processes. ABA expression is induced by environmental stresses such as drought and it is known to be an inhibitor of seed germination. A wild oat (Avena fatua) called AFN1 has been hypothesized to initiate the early stages of germination as its mRNA accumulates in nondormant seed embryos during imbibition. The polypeptide sequence of AFN1 suggests that it is an ABA glucosyl transferase. Glucosylation by AFN1 and thereby inactivation of ABA could lead to seed germination. In order to understand the role of AFN1 in germination, an ample quantity of AFN1 polypeptide is needed to test for enzymatic ABA glucosylase activity. My work has been to overexpress recombinant AFN1containing a (His)6 tag using a pRSETC E.coli expression system followed by Purification of the AFN1 protein by means of a nickel-affinity column that bind to the (His)6 tag. Due to the insufficient yield of AFN1 fusion protein obtained with this procedure, another method using a pMAL-c2x vector is now being employed. The pMAL expression system provides a method for expressing and purifying protein by tagging proteins with maltose-binding protein (MBP). It is anticipated that MBP tag will be advantageous as it can make the fusion protein more soluble and thereby yield a larger quantity of protein. Currently, work is underway on the construction of pMAL/AFN1 plasmid.


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