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Names: Priyanka Wadgaonkar, Jiawen Pei and Zainab Mahmood PowerPoint Presentation
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Names: Priyanka Wadgaonkar, Jiawen Pei and Zainab Mahmood High School: George W. Hewlett High School, Hewlett, NY Mentor: Dr. Terrence Bissoondial Project Title: The Isolation and Characterization of an Ozone Responsive Stress Related Protein (OZS) in Ceratopteris richardii.

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Names: Priyanka Wadgaonkar, Jiawen Pei and Zainab Mahmood

High School: George W. Hewlett High School, Hewlett, NY

Mentor: Dr. Terrence Bissoondial

Project Title: The Isolation and Characterization of an Ozone Responsive Stress Related Protein (OZS) in Ceratopteris richardii

Increased levels of ozone and other air pollutants in the troposphere have accounted for 90% of crop loss in the United States. Studies in some species of rice have identified an Ozone Responsive Stress Related Protein (OZS) that is induced transcriptionally by ozone. The structure and function of this protein, however, remains uncharacterized. In this study, Ceratopteris richardii was used as a model plant to characterize OZS. Analysis of the Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) library

of Ceratopteris richardii identified a putative orthologue of the OZS gene. The single EST cDNA (CrOZS) has a continuous open reading frame of 83 amino acid residues with a 57% identity to the OZS from Oryza. CrOZS has a predominance of the hydrophobic amino acids (primarily valine) at the N-terminus, suggesting a possible membrane spanning domain in this region. An ER-targeting signaling peptide was also identified. Upon treating gametophytes with ozone, the transcription of CrOZS was up-regulated within 5 hours of exposure as determined by RT-PCR. Knockdown of CrOZS by treating spores with siRNA of CrOZS showed increased susceptibility to ozone. The prothalli of gametophytes displayed significant decrease in chlorophyll production, cell division, cell elongation and an increase in cellular senescence. This study revealed that OZS is an essential protein necessary for plants to adapt to ozone or other abiotic stress. Moreover, a high copy number of OZS gene in other species correlates with a greater tolerance to ozone or abiotic stress.