Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Election Year: 1999
Primary Section: 25, Plant Biology
Membership Type: Member
Light signals are required for the induction and regulation of many developmental processes in plants. I have participated in research dissecting this complex process by isolating mutations that alter light-regulated seedling development in the small cruciferous plant, Arabidopsis. Genetic analysis indicates that light responses are not simply endpoints of linear signal transduction pathways, but are the result of the integration of information from a variety of receptors acting through a complex network of interacting signaling components. Approximately 50 Arabidopsis genes have been identified that play a role in this signal transduction network. To date, my work has identified mutants that are deficient in the phytochrome photoreceptors and in nuclear-localized repressors and has also revealed that steroid hormones control light-regulated seedling development. This work has involved manipulation of the biosynthetic pathway for these steroids that altered the growth and development of plants and identification of the putative steroid receptor, a transmembrane receptor kinase. Current studies are focused on understanding the interactions of the photoreceptors with endogenous developmental pathways that involve the action of plant hormones.