Athanasios Theologis

University of California, Berkeley


Primary Section: 25, Plant Biology
Membership Type: Member (elected 2011)

Research Interests

Over the past 25 years I have studied the molecular aspects of auxin perception and ethylene biosynthesis. These two plant hormones regulate various aspects of growth and development. My laboratory showed the primary mechanism of auxin is transcriptional activation. We characterized early auxin-regulated genes that proved to encode rapidly degraded transcriptional repressors that are the substrate of the auxin receptor TIR1 - one component of the SCF complex responsible for protein degradation and constituting central components of the auxin signaling apparatus. My laboratory was the first to clone ACC synthase (ACS), the key gene in the ethylene biosynthetic pathway. Using antisense ACS RNA we constructed a tomato mutant unable to produce ethylene, which was instrumental in conclusively demonstrating that ethylene is indeed the fruit ripening hormone because of reversibility of the ripening process. This was the first successful demonstration of delaying plant senescence. Recent findings with loss of function ACS mutants revealed that ethylene-mediated processes in Arabidopsis are regulated by a combinatorial interplay among the ACS subunits, in a spatiotemporal manner. Lastly, my laboratory participated in the international effort to sequence the Arabidopsis genome, allowing development of new molecular tools providing new resources for the entire plant biology community.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software