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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Biological Sciences and
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Plant Biology

PI: Kevin A. T. Silverstein

Identification and Characterization of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides

With collaborators Kathryn VandenBosch (Plant Biology) and Michelle Graham (United States Department of Agriculture‚ÄďAgricultural Research Service), this researcher has discovered hundreds of previously unannotated genes encoding putative antimicrobial peptides in Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula. Work is ongoing to predict new members of these large gene families in emerging plant genome sequences, to profile the expression patterns of these genes via custom-designed microarrays, and to assess the antimicrobial activity of selected gene products. In recent work, the researchers continued to evaluate the performance of a custom Affymetrix chip that contains all known defensin antimicrobial peptides from both Arabidopsis and Medicago. They have expanded their microarray analysis across many developmental timepoints and treatment conditions. Future work will explore the analysis capabilities of the GeneData Expressionist software program to look at this data and incorporate numerous new treatment conditions.