Jacob Brunkard
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B.A. Biology and History with High Honors, Swarthmore College, 2008


I study plasmodesmata, membrane-bound channels that connect the cytoplasms of adjacent plant cells.  Plasmodesmata function as conduits transporting ions, metabolites, signaling molecules, RNA, proteins (including transcription factors), and viruses.  My current projects focus on the role of chloroplasts and mitochondria as regulators of intercellular communication and on the mechanisms underlying plasmodesmal formation in the cell wall.  For more on these and other projects in our lab, please visit Prof. Pat Zambryski's web page.


Brunkard JO, Burch-Smith TM, Runkel AM, Zambryski P (2015) Investigating Plasmodesmata Genetics with Virus-Induced Gene Silencing and an Agrobacterium-Mediated GFP Movement Assay. Meth. Mol. Biol. 1217:185-198.

Brunkard JO, Runkel AM, Zambryski P (2014) Cell-cell signalling in plants - cross-talk among chloroplasts, mitochondria and plasmodesmata. The Biochemist 36(5):11-16.

Brunkard JO, Runkel AM, Zambryski PC (2013) Plasmodesmata dynamics are coordinated by intracellular signaling pathways.  Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 16(5).

Li F, Pignatta D, Bendix C, Brunkard JO, Cohn MM, Tung J, Sun H, Kumar P, Baker B (2012) MicroRNA regulation of plant innate immune receptors.  PNAS 109(5):1790-5.

Stonebloom S, Brunkard JO, Cheung AC, Jiang K, Feldman L, Zambryski PC (2012) Redox states of plastids and mitochondria differentially regulate intercellular transport via plasmodesmata.  Plant Physiology 158(1):190-9.

Burch-Smith TM, Brunkard JO, Choi YG, Zambryski PC (2011) Organelle-nucleus cross-talk regulates plant intercellular transport via plasmodesmata.  PNAS 108(51):E1451-60.

Honors and Awards

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2012)

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (2012)

NIH Genetics Training Grant (2011)