Plant Biology

Plants and green algae comprise an important, if not indispensable, part of the biosphere. These organisms share many fundamental properties with other living things, but are quite unique in other ways, and research in the department encompasses a wide variety of topics that reflects this reality. Projects include molecular genetic analysis of the regulation of seed germination and other developmental transitions; investigations into signaling proteins and small molecules that mediate plant defenses against pathogens; and analysis of embryo development and cell-fate determination mechanisms, such as asymmetric cell division. Approaches used in these studies are also very diverse and include classical biochemical, genetic, and molecular methods, light, fluorescence and confocal microscopy, comparative genomics, and bioinformatic analyses.

Faculty with Interest in Plant Biology:

Bustos, Mauricio
Our research focuses on the abscisic acid signaling pathway and its importance in plant development and drought resistance. We use the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

Lu, Hua
Study mechanisms of plant innate immunity.

Miller, Stephen
Analysis of developmental mechanisms in a green alga, Volvox carteri (Chlorophyta).