Mortar and pestle

Crushing Plants in the Lab

Marissa and China
Carine Marshall (Left) and Frank Harmon (Right)
Flowers

Arabidopsis (Fletcher Lab)

Jana Hassan of the Lewis Lab works with samples
Tester Slide II

PGEC Greenhouse

China Lunde working with a developing corn ear

arabidopsisThe Plant Gene Expression Center (PGEC) conducts fundamental research in plant molecular biology. Researchers are elucidating the signal transduction pathways responsible for the perception of environmental and cellular cues. We are exploring disease resistance, light perception, the circadian clock, vegetative growth and the plant-associated microbiome. Essential genes and the networks within which they operate are elucidated using molecular, genetic and biochemical approaches.

The PGEC is a collaboration of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Plant & Microbial Biology Department of the University of California, Berkeley. The Center's principal investigators are faculty at UC Berkeley, and research opportunities are available in our laboratories for graduate and undergraduate students.

Three PMB students join PGEC labs

Wassim Hage, Nanticha Lutt, and Snigdha Chatterjee joined the PGEC in May. Wassim will be advised by Jennifer Fletcher, Nanticha will be co-advised by Sarah Hake and Jake Brunkard and Snigdha will be co-advised by Barbara Baker and Jake Brunkard. Click "Read more" for details about their Ph.D. projects. Posted 06/16/2018.

Congratulations to Ilea Chau, Graduate Student in the Lewis Lab

Ilea Chau passed her qualifying exam in late March and received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in early April, which will fund her for 3 years. Click "Read more" to find out more about her dissertation research. Posted 06/13/2018.

New Paper from Coleman-Derr Lab about the Sorghum Root Microbiome and Drought

Drought remains a critical obstacle to meeting the food demands of the coming century. Understanding the interplay between drought stress, plant development, and the plant microbiome is central to meeting this challenge. They demonstrate that drought causes enrichment of a distinct set of microbes in roots, composed almost entirely of monoderms, which lack outer membranes and have thick cell walls. They showed that under drought, roots increase the production of many metabolites, and that monoderms inhabiting the drought-treated rhizosphere exhibit increased activity of transporters connected with some of these same compounds. The discovery of this drought-induced enrichment and associated shifts in metabolite exchange between plant and microbe reveal a potential blueprint for manipulating plant microbiomes for improved crop fitness. Click "Read more" for a link to the paper. Posted 06/13/2018.

New paper from the Hake Lab and their collaborators at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China

GIF1 (growth regulating factor-interacting factor 1) is a transcription factor. In Arabidopsis, mutants of GIF1 have narrow leaves. In the maize mutant the leaves are narrow, but the meristems are also indeterminate. In Zhang D, Sun W, Singh R, Zheng Y, Cao Z, Li M, Lunde C, Hake S, Zhang Z. (2018). GRF-interacting factor1 regulates shoot architecture and meristem determinacy in maize. Plant Cell. 30:360-374, they identify downstream targets for maize GIF1 that might be responsible for the dual phenotypes in maize. Click "Read more" for the abstract and a link to the paper. Posted 03/16/2018.

New paper from the Lewis Lab highlights environmental contribution to plant-pathogen interactions.

Jana A. Hassan, Roberto de la Torre-Roche, Jason C. White, and Jennifer D. Lewis. 2018. “Soil mixture composition alters Arabidopsis susceptibility to Pseudomonas syringae infection.” Plant Direct 2(2): e00044. DOI: 10.1002/pld3.44.. Click "Read more" for details. Posted 03/15/2018.

Nice Profile of former Quail Lab postdoc Katie Dehesh in The Scientist

photo of Katie Dehesh
A gripping account of Katie's career path from Iran, to the PGEC, and beyond. Katie is now the Director of the Institute for Integrative Genome Biology at UC-Riverside. Click "Read more" for a link to the article. Posted 02/05/2018.

Michael Busche Passed his Qualifying Exam

Michael is a graduate student with Jake Brunkard and Sarah Hake. He will be studying how TOR, which is a central regulator of growth in all organisms, regulates TERMINAL EAR1 and other MEI2-like proteins in plants. Posted 01/24/2018.

Baker Lab News - Undergrad Honor and New Publication

picture of Monica Cassandras
Monica Cassandras, a MCB Honors Student in the Baker Lab, presented her research at the Genetics, Genomics and Development Honors Symposium in Spring 2017. Monica is now a Staff Researcher at UCSF. New Publication: Yingtian Deng, Jubin Wang, Jeffrey Tung, Dan Liu, Yingjia Zhou, Shuang He, Yunlian Du, Barbara Baker and Feng Li. (2018). A role for small RNA in regulating innate immunity during plant growth. PloS Pathogens 14: e1006756. Click "Read more" for a link to the paper. Posted 01/18/2018.

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