Molecular mechanisms underlying temperature modulation of plant defenses

Program name

Study of molecular mechanisms underlying temperature modulation of plant defense responses

Department(s) or unit(s)

Plant Biology

Contact information

Jian Hua, Associate Professor

Program goals

Understand the molecular mechanisms by which temperature regulates plant defense responses

Brief description

Moderate temperature variations have large effects on various plant processes including defense responses. Often, an elevated growth temperature above the norm renders an otherwise resistant plant susceptible to pathogens.

Our goal is to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying the inhibition of defense responses by elevated temperature. Recent studies from our lab have identified disease resistance (R) proteins as a temperature-sensitive component in defense responses. That a higher temperature reduces the accumulation of the major type of R proteins in the nucleus might be a common basis for temperature sensitivity in defense responses.

We are utilizing molecular genetic approaches mostly in Arabidopsis thaliana to understand how defenses respond especially how R proteins are modulated by temperature. Results coming from this project will shed light on the molecular basis of adaptive responses to moderate temperature variations in plants as well as activation of R proteins, an essential step in disease resistance regulation. Knowledge gained from this study will potentially have applications in coping with temperature fluctuations and global climate changes through crop improvement by enhancing the capacities of plant defense responses in a wide range of temperatures.

For more information

Jian Hua’s website

Category: Agriculture/Farming, Pests and weeds

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