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.

New Graduate Student in Lewis Lab

Ilea Chau has joined the Lewis Lab for her dissertation work. She is identifying bacterial virulence factors that are recognized in wild tomato species, and is building tools for functional genomics. Her work will help characterize the molecular mechanisms of resistance, and protect tomato from Pseudomonas syringae infection. Posted 09/19/2017.

Dr. Carine Marshall!

PMB graduate student Carine Marshall completed her PhD in August 2017. Her thesis is titled "Control of Alternative Splicing by SICKLE/WARP2 is Required for Adaptation of the Plant Circadian Clock to Cool Temperatures". Great work Carine! She will remain in the lab as a postdoctoral researcher until the end of 2017, to follow up on her thesis work. Posted 09/18/2017.

Hake Lab: a New Grant and Two New Papers in Plant Cell

Sarah Hake is co-PI on a grant awarded from the NSF Plant Genome Research Program. Andrea Eveland, at the Danforth Center in St. Louis, is the lead PI. They will study gene regulatory networks at boundary regions in maize. And the papers: Rosa, M, Abraham-Juarez MJ, Lewis MW, Fonseca JP, Tian W, Ramirez V, Luan S, Pauly M, Hake S. (2017) The Maize MID-COMPLEMENTING ACTIVITY Homolog CELL NUMBER REGULATOR13/NARROW ODD DWARF Coordinates Organ Growth and Tissue Patterning. Plant Cell 29:474-490. and Tsuda, K, Abraham-Juarez, MJ, Maeno, A, Dong, Z, Aromdee, D, Meeley, R, Shiroishi, T, Nonomura, K and Hake, S. (2017) KNOTTED1 co-factors, BLH12 and BLH14, regulate internode patterning and vein anastomosis in maize. Plant Cell. 29:1105-1118. Click "Read more" to read the abstracts. Posted 09/18/2017.

Welcome to PMB Rotation Students

First year graduate students in the Dept. of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC-Berkeley spend 10 weeks each in 3 different labs, before selecting a home for their thesis project. For the first rotation period, we have 3 students: Snigdha Chatterjee, who was an undergraduate at Syracuse University, is rotating in the Lewis Lab; there are two students rotating with Sarah Hake and Jake Brunkard, Wassim Hage, who was an undergraduate at Univ. Texas, and Nanticha Lutt, who was an undergraduate at UC-Berkeley. Posted 09/18/2017.

Devin Coleman-Derr named Early Career Research Scientist in USDA/ARS

The citation notes: For his pioneering work in epigenetics and the microbiome, and leadership in identifying new directions of research. Click "Read more" for a link to an article about this honor. Posted 09/18/2017.

Quail Lab Paper Published in Nature Communications

Plants monitor their light environment through photoreceptors in that include phytochromes. Transcription factors called PIFs (for phytochrome interacting factors) were known to be phosphorylated as part of the light signaling cascade, but the kinases responsible for this phosphorylation were unknown. Ni et al. (2017) have now identified the responsible kinases. Click "Read more" to read the abstract, and for a link to the publication (open access). Posted 09/18/2017.

Coleman-Derr Lab Awarded Grant from The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation

Cassava is considered one of the world’s five major food crops, vital to the food security of more than half a billion people around the globe. While cassava is resistant to drought and pests, pathogens represent an Achilles Heel for an otherwise hearty crop.The Coleman-Derr lab was awarded $20,000, over two years. They will use metagenomics to investigate the effect of agronomic methods on Cassava health in Uganda. Click "Read more" for details and for a link to the Foundation's Website. Posted 06/01/2017.

Lewis Lab News - New Postdoc, New Publication

Dr. Yuan Chen, previously in the McCormick lab, has joined the Lewis Lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Yuan will investigate immune responses in Brachypodium distachyon, a model grass species, to Pseudomonas syringae infection. Jana Hassan developed a seedling-based assay to assess resistance to Pseudomonas syringae in tomato: Hassan, Jana A., Zhou, Yan-Ming Jane, and Lewis, Jennifer D. (2017). A rapid seedling resistance assay identifies wild tomato lines that are resistant to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato race 1. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions; posted online on 18 May 2017. Click "Read more" to read the Abstract and for a link to the publication. Posted 06/01/2017.

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