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.

News from the Coleman-Derr Lab

Yi Wang accepted a position as a faculty member at Southwestern University in Chongqing, China, where he will lead a research program developing tools for plant genomics and bioinformatics. Daniel Naylor recently received his Ph.D. from the Plant and Microbial Biology Department at UC-Berkeley. He is now interviewing for positions in industry and academic labs and hopes to continue research in environmental microbiology and contribute to solving the major challenges facing world agriculture. Daniel and Devin published a review entitled “Drought Stress and Root-Associated Bacterial Communities” in Frontiers in Plant Science. Click "Read more" for a link to their review. Posted 01/10/2018.

Former PGEC PI writes Research Highlights and Tweets for The Plant Journal

Since mid-2017, Sheila McCormick has been selecting a paper for the cover of each issue of The Plant Journal, and writing a synopsis of the work, after interviewing the authors. She also Tweets about selected papers (@ThePlantJournal). Click "Read more" for links to the Research Highlights. Posted 01/09/2018.

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.


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