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Project abstract for group vandenbo
Plant x Microbe Interactions and Regulation of Cell Wall Growth and Composition in Nitrogen Fixing Biomass Crops in Minnesota
Plants use many defense strategies against microbes and predators, including the activation of defensin genes to produce antimicrobial proteins. Plant cell wall characteristics strongly affect the availability of cellulose-derived sugar for fermentation. These researchers use two plant model systems, Arabidopsis and Medicago, and a nitrogen-fixing shrub native to Minnesota (Alnus incana subsp. rugosa) to study traits important to plant cell wall biosynthesis and plant-microbe interactions. They use bioinformatics and functional genomics approaches for analyzing plant gene expression, among others.