The cytoskeleton of actin filaments and microtubules is a dynamic framework that powers intracellular movements, executes cell division, organizes the cytoplasm, and transmits signals from the extracellular environment. How cells build different cytoskeletal structures in the same cytoplasm and who are the key molecular players that organize the cytoskeleton remain poorly understood. Our laboratory investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin cytoskeletal dynamics in living plant cells. We pioneered the use of quantitative image analysis, high spatial and temporal resolution fluorescence microscopy, and reverse-genetic approaches to test a model of actin turnover. This research has uncovered an amazingly dynamic behavior of the plant actin cytoskeleton and novel activities associated with several conserved actin-binding proteins.
Plants and plant cells are unable to migrate or move to avoid attack by microbes or eukaryotic pests. We also explore how the cytoskeleton perceives and transduces signals during the plant innate immune response. Our research leverages powerful genetic tools associated with the Arabidopsis-Pseudomonas pathosystem and combines these with advanced imaging and quantitative cell biology approaches to discover new signaling pathways associated with biotic stress.
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BTNY 69100, 1 cr., Fall - Skills for Success in Grad School
BTNY 59000, 1 cr., Spring - Scientific Presentations