Influence of Rapamycin on Zea Mays Seedlings
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The Target of Rapamycin (TOR) Signal Transduction Pathway is a conserved mechanism that plays a significant role in the regulation of cell growth. Autophagy inhibition is one method in which the TOR kinase pathway is able to regulate cellular energy balance. Rapamycin is a known inhibitor of the TOR kinase pathway, and thus is expected to increases autophagic activity in the cellular system. This study was conducted to examine this inductive effect of rapamycin on autophagic recycling in W64A+ maize seedlings. In order to conduct the experiment, maize seedlings were treated with varying concentrations of rapamycin in DMSO solution followed by a week length observation of root growth. Although there was evidence of increased root growth in moderate concentrations of rapamycin (30 nM), no statistically significant trend was found. Elevated autophagy gene expression involved in the nutritional stress response for increased root growth was analyzed through cDNA samples of the harvested seedlings roots. However, dysfunctional ATG gene primers prevented complete analysis of the autophagic expression in the rapamycin treated W64A+ seedlings.