Epigenomics and plant disease
The plant immune system is incredibly complex and must be tightly regulated so that it can rapidly respond to pathogens, but not over-react to cause auto-immunity. It has been reported that DNA methylation is dynamic during plant defense, and that mutants with altered methylomes respond differently when challenged. I’m very interested in the relationships between dynamic DNA methylation, transposon regulation, and defense gene expression. Additionaly, I’m interested in how these relationships may guide the evolution and diversity of plant immunity genes.
Current research projects include:
Characterizing methylome and expression changes in a Setaria drm mutant
Generating stress reporter lines in Setaria
Quantifying the relationships between genes and TEs in pan-genomes