Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Robert Frank Standaert

Committee Members

Greg Bishop, Dhirendra Kumar


Plants secrete peptide ligands and use receptor signaling to respond to stress and control development. Understanding these phenomena is key to improving plant health and productivity for food, fiber, and energy applications. Phytosulfokine (PSK), a sulfated peptide hormone, regulates plant cell division, growth, and stress tolerance via specific phytosulfokine receptors (PSKRs). This study uses fiber-optic fluorescence microscopy to elucidate trafficking of PSK in live plants. The microscope features two-color optics and an objective lens connected to a 1-m coherent imaging fiber mounted on either a conventional upright microscope body or 5-axis positioning system (X–Y–Z plus pitch and yaw). PSK and fluorescently-labelled PSK were delivered into roots and leaves of various Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes, and their movement was non-destructively tracked with the microscope. High-resolution (3–5 µm) epifluorescence micrographs confirmed that PSK is mobile in plants and levels of PSKR1, PSKR2, or both may impact the trafficking of PSK.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Saturday, June 15, 2024