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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Academic Health Center
Masonic Cancer Center

PI: Kevin A.T. Silverstein

Identification and Characterization of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides

With collaborators Kathryn VandenBosch (formerly, Plant Biology; currently, Dean, College of Agricultural and Food Science, UW Madison) 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.