My goals are to characterize phytohormone signaling evolution in algae. My research has crystallized into three related projects with an eye toward publication:
ABP1 complementation in Arabidopsis: Using ABP1 sequences from C. vulgaris, Arabidopsis, and a chimera sequence, I will attempt to complement an Arabidopsis ABP1 mutant in an attempt to rescue embryo lethality.
Auxin-mediated growth regulation in Chlorella sorokiniana: We will continue investigating very low inoculum size growth in Chlorella sorokiniana. Additionally, we will quantify auxin intracellularly and in the growth medium. We will use phylogenetics to identify evolutionary relationships between algal and plant putative auxin biosynthesis, transport, and perception genes. Finally, we will use radiolabeled tryptophan to determine whether auxin production in C. sorokiniana follows a tryptophan dependent pathway.
ABA and stress tolerance in C. sorokiniana: Several stress response genes, including DNA damage repair pathways and cold stress pathways, are upregulated in C. sorokiniana. We have started preliminary investigations that suggest that pretreatment with ABA in C. sorokiniana has a positive effect on survival after exposure to stressors. Additionall, we will investigate the phylogenetic relationships between ABA biosynthesis, transport, and perception genes.