Arts and Sciences Professor of Biology in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

(919) 613-8176

Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model
system, my
laboratory studies the
mechanisms of plant defense
against microbial pathogens. We
focus on a specific
response known as systemic
acquired resistance (SAR).
SAR, which can be induced by a
local infection, provides
the plants with long lasting,
systemic resistance against
a broad spectrum of pathogens.
Salicylic acid (SA; an
active ingredient of aspirin) has
been found to be the
endogenous signal of SAR. Using
a genetic approach,
our laboratory identified genes
involved in the regulation
of SAR. Molecular and genetic
analyses are being
carried out to understand the gene
function and to
elucidate the SAR signaling
pathway. These
SAR-regulating genes are also
favorite targets for
molecular engineering of
disease-resistance crops.