Establishing the foundation of Impatiens walleriana as a nectar model system.
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Cox, Andrew M. 1990-
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Rapid proliferation of mosquito‐vectored viruses require affordable and effective methods are necessary in poor, urbanized tropical regions. Designing a plant‐based drug‐delivery system would provide this technology. Impatiens walleriana is ideal to establish a nectar‐model system for testing drug‐delivery targeting mosquitoes. Detailed in this thesis, are three building blocks for engineering impatiens to combat mosquito‐borne diseases. First, a highly produced nectar protein was identified, iwPHYL21. It is highly expressed, antimicrobial, and may serve as a fusion partner in heterologous protein expression. Second, an impatiens nectar promoter was identified, which may optimize heterologous protein expression in nectar. Finally, promoters from Arabidopsis were utilized to express the marker protein GUS in nectaries and nectar, demonstrating the potential for impatiens to deliver toxins to insects. This work will serve to increase the efficiency and utility of the impatiens model‐system, bringing us closer to effective, non‐pesticide‐based control of mosquito‐transmitted diseases in the field.