Plant Molecular Biology

Interested in Plant Molecular Biology research? Take a look at what MCDB faculty are doing in this area:

Alonso, Ana

Research focuses on the understanding of plant/crop metabolism to increase the production of valuable compounds. The lab uses a dual approach combining metabolomics and fluxomics studies to unravel the biochemistry involved in storage product accumulation and to identify targets for metabolic engineering.

Bisaro, David

Geminivirus replication, gene expression, and pathogenesis.  The role of small RNA-directed epigenetic silencing in defense against DNA viruses.

Dobritsa, Anna

We are interested in understanding mechanisms leading to formation of exine, the remarkably diverse cell wall of plant pollen grains. By using techniques of genetics, molecular biology, microscopy, and biochemistry, we are studying the biosynthesis, pattern formation, and evolution of this amazing structure.

Gopalan, Venkat

Biochemistry and applications of ribonuclease P, a catalytic RNP complex.

Grotewold, Erich

Control of gene expression; metabolic engineering; evolution of transcription factors.

Hamel, Patrice

Redox factors and heme delivery systems involved in the maturation of chloroplast and mitochondrial c-type cytochromes, assembly of mutimeric complex I in mitochondria.

Hollick, Jay

Heritable epigenetic variation represents a poorly understood, yet significant, component of evolutionary biology. We use genetic, cytogenetic, genomic, and molecular approaches in corn to understand both the molecular mechanism and biological function of paramutation - a process responsible for meiotically heritable epigenetic changes in gene regulation. Our studies highlight novel aspects of eukaryotic chromosome organization and function.

Lamb, Rebecca

Role of transcriptional regulation during flower development in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. Using specification of organ identity to study transcriptional networks controlling development. In addition to elucidating the molecular underpinnings of flower formation, the potential modification of transcriptional networks during evolution to give rise to varying floral morphologies is being examined.

Mackey, David

Pathogens secrete effector proteins that enhance virulence by functioning inside plant cells. Plants express resistance proteins that can sense effectors and induce an innate immune response. Current research focuses the molecular mechanisms of each of these processes.

Meier, Iris

Anchoring of Ran signal transduction in plants; nuclear pore and nuclear envelope protein function; genomic analysis of long coiled-coil proteins.

Qu, Feng

Focus is on elucidating molecular mechanisms that govern defense responses mounted by plants after attack by virus pathogens. Model viruses are small positive sense RNA viruses (ie, Turnip crinkle virus, Bean pod mottle virus). Current projects include understand the role of temperature in RNA silencing-based antiviral defense, and how nonhost plants respond to virus invasions.

Slotkin, R. Keith

My laboratory aims to discover how potentially mutagenic “jumping genes” or transposable elements are epigenetically repressed from generation to generation, as well as how this system has been adopted over evolutionary time to regulate non-transposable element genes.

Somers, David

Molecular genetic analysis of the plant circadian clock.

Tabita, F. Robert

Molecular biology and genetic engineering of CO2 metabolism.