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.

Claire Bendix Awarded Ph.D.

Claire Bendix in the Harmon Lab was awarded her Ph.D. degree in December, 2015. The title of her thesis is: "The time has come: of GIGANTEA paralogs and grass circadian clocks" Claire is the first Ph.D. student to graduate from Frank's lab. Click "Read more" to find out about Claire's future plans, and for links to relevant publications. Posted 01/07/2016.

Intercellular Communication in Pollen

The McCormick lab recently published a surprising discovery in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. In pollen, messenger RNA moves between the vegetative cell and the sperm cells. This work was carried out by a former postdoc, Hua Jiang, who is now a postdoc in Claudia Kohler's lab in Sweden - where Hua completed some of the experiments described in the paper. Click "Read more" to learn more about the significance of this result, and for the link to the paper. Posted 01/07/2016.

Winning Design for 2016 PGEC T-shirt

Thai (Dat) Dao (first year PMB student, now rotating in the Coleman-Derr lab) designed this t-shirt. Posted 01/07/2016.

Coleman-Derr awarded DOE Grant

Devin Coleman-Derr is a co-PI on a five year grant "Epigenetic Control of Drought Response in Sorghum", with $1.2 million awarded to his lab. Click "Read more" to see a summary of the project and a link to the UC-Berkeley press release. Posted 01/07/2016.

Welcome to new PGEC members

Jake Brunkard, a recent Ph.D. from Pat Zambryski's lab in PMB, joined Sarah Hake's lab as a postdoctoral fellow in December. Karl Schreiber, previously a postdoctoral fellow in the Staskawicz lab in PMB, joined Jennifer Lewis's lab in January. Claire Bendix, a recent Ph.D. from Frank Harmon's lab, will join Jennifer Lewis's lab this spring. Click "Read more" to find out more about their work at the PGEC. Posted 01/06/2016.

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 second rotation period, we have 4 students - two were PMB undergraduates: Grady Pierroz is in the Hake Lab, and Martin Alexander is in the Baker Lab. The Coleman-Derr lab has two rotation students: Tuesday Simmons, a graduate of Marshall University and Thai (nickname Dat) Dao, a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. Posted 01/06/2016.

Raising Food for Food Banks

Pumpkins and potato harvest
For the 5th year, several PGEC members (Sarah Hake, China Lunde, Emilio Corona Angus Vajk, Carine Marshall, Claire Bendix, Frank Harmon and Rebecca Haussmann) have been part of a dedicated crew who have planted a large vegetable garden on the USDA property. Click "Read more" to find out what produce we grow and where we donate it. Posted 01/06/2016.

Welcome to new PGEC Members

Robbie Calderon, a recent Ph.D. from Kris Niyogi's lab in the Plant and Microbial Biology Dept., UC-Berkeley, joined Peter Quail's lab in June, as a postdoctoral fellow. Laura Silva-Rosales, from CINESTAV in Mexico City, started her sabbatical in Sarah Hake's lab in August. JiKai Li, a recent Ph.D.from Fangqing Guo's lab in the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, will join Jenn Fletcher's lab as a postdoctoral fellow in September. Click "Read more" to find out more about their work at the PGEC. Posted 08/27/2015.

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