Ubiquitin like proteins (UBLs) are known to have different functions including a potential role in drought tolerance of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). UBLs are related in tertiary structure to ubiquitin (UB) and they both serve as regulators of many cellular processes. In previous work over-expression of one UBL, the Lolium perenne L. Ubl5 (LpUbl5) homologue in perennial ryegrass resulted in plants with enhanced drought tolerance. Daliya’s PhD aimed to characterize the LpUbl5 gene in the context of its potential role in drought tolerance using LpUbl5-overexpressing perennial ryegrass. The study extended to include Arabidopsis thaliana transformed using LpUbl5 to support the findings. The results rejected any role of the LpUbl5 gene in drought tolerance of perennial ryegrass and A. thaliana. A potential seed lethal phenotype was observed in Ubl5 mutants of A. thaliana. Importantly, the study also identified a germplasm accession of Lolium perenne L. from Norway with increased drought tolerance in a controlled environment. The project was supervised by Prof. Derrick Moot, Dr Chris Winefield and Assoc. Prof. Rainer Hofmann. This work was a MBIE supported project in association with Fonterra.
Daliya now works for Oceania Dairy.