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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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

PI: Jane Glazebrook

Disease Resistance Mechanisms in Plants

These researchers study disease resistance mechanisms in plants, with much their work using the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana. They use functional genomics techniques to identify genetic components of the plant signaling network controlling activation of defense responses. Current research involves a pair of genes that appear to encode novel transcription factors. One gene encodes a calmodulin-binding protein, so the researchers study the role of calcium fluxes in signaling. Separately, they study a protein kinase that acts very early following pathogen recognition. They are also screening mutants with defects in the cell wall to determine the nature of cell wall defects that compromise pathogen defense. They have an applied project focused on identifying rice genes that could be used to improve wheat resistance to stem rust, a devastating disease that can cause serious crop losses, particularly in developing countries. The group uses the CGL for analysis of DNA sequence data and expression profiling data.

Group Members

Gerit Bethke, Research Associate
Suma Sreekanta, Graduate Student
Yayoi Tsuda, Research Associate
Lin Wang, Graduate Student