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.

Two New Papers from Hake Lab

Rosa M, Abraham-Juárez 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, Hake S (2017). KNOTTED1 cofactors, BLH12 and BLH14, regulate internode patterning and vein anastomosis in maize. Plant Cell.doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00967. [Epub ahead of print] Click "Read more" to see the abstracts of these papers, and for links to the full text. Posted 04/24/2017.

Devin Coleman-Derr Lab Awarded Grant from NASA

As a member of the Center for Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES), the Coleman-Derr lab will use their portion of the funding ($1 million, 5 years) to focus on improving water and light use-efficiency of crops grown on deep space missions, using CRISPR/Cas9 and microbiome-based approaches. Click "Read more" for a link to the NASA Press Release. Posted 03/04/2017.

Sarah Hake Elected Chair of Agriculture, Food and Renewable Resources Section of AAAS

As of Feb 21, 2017, Sarah is Chair-Elect of the AAAS Section on Agriculture, Food and Renewable Resources. She will become Chair in 2018, and will be Retiring Chair in 2019. Click "Read more" to find out what this entails. Posted 03/04/2017.

PGEC 2017 T-shirt Design

PGEC 2017 T-shirt design
This beautiful design is by Vicki Hsieh-Feng, a student in the Harmon Lab who was visiting from Taiwan. Click "Read more" to see a larger image. Posted 03/04/2017.

New Paper from Harmon Lab

The endogenous circadian clock enables plants to anticipate daily and seasonal changes in the environment. This paper shows that the SICKLE (SIC) gene is necessary for two fundamental circadian clock properties: setting by external temperature cues and maintenance of a constant rate over a range of temperature conditions. The cause of clock phenotypes in sic mutants is perturbation of an unknown aspect of messenger RNA processing needed for control of transcript alternative splicing. These findings show that control of alternative splicing is critical for plants to actively perceive and respond to their temperature environment. The authors are graduate student Carine Marshall, UC Berkeley student Virginia Tartaglio, research associate Maritza Duarte, and Frank Harmon. "The Arabidopsis sickle Mutant Exhibits Altered Circadian Clock Responses to Cool Temperatures and Temperature-Dependent Alternative Splicing" Plant Cell 28: 2560-2575. First Published on September 13, 2016; doi:10.1105/tpc.16.00223 Click "Read more" to read the abstract. Posted 11/11/2016.

Jake Brunkard Receives NIH Early Independence Award!!

Jake is a 2015 Ph.D. graduate from Pat Zambryski's lab in the Dept. of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC-Berkeley, and is now a postdoc in the Hake Lab. Early Independence Awards support exceptional junior scientists, allowing them to move immediately into independent research positions. Jake's group will be working on how plants sense nutrient availability, focusing on understanding how the highly conserved TARGET OF RAPAMYCIN (TOR) metabolic signaling network responds to amino acids, and how TOR impacts plant physiology and development. These discoveries will shed light on the evolution of metabolic signaling and, especially, amino acid sensors in eukaryotes. Click "Read more" for more details about the Early Independence Award Program and about Jake's project. Posted 10/06/2016.

Lewis Lab Summer Activities

Cover of Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, volume 56
In July several members of the Lewis Lab attended the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (IS-MPMI) in Portland OR. Jennifer Lewis edited a special issue on Plant Immunity for Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology, Jana Hassan did the cover art (right panel), and the lab also contributed a review article on the molecular mechanisms of effector recognition. Click "Read more" for details about the poster presentations and the review article. Posted 09/27/2016.

New Postdocs in Quail and Hake Labs

Eduardo Gonzalez Grandio joined the Quail lab in July and Sam Leiboff joined the Hake Lab in September. Click "Read more" to find out more about their previous research experiences and what they will be working on at the PGEC. Posted 09/12/2016.


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