Programmed Cell Death Across the Eukaryotic Kingdoms

EU 6th Framework STREP

Research group of John Mundy

Molecular genetic analyses of PCD regulatory genes in plants & humans




Fig.: Screening Arabidopsis for cell death mutants (Acd11 suppressors)  

Mundy's laboratory works on the identification and characterization of genes controlling PCD and responses to pathogens using the model plant Arabidopsis. For example, the laboratory identified two important regulatory genes: 1) Accelerated Cell Death 11 (ACD11), encoding a sphingolipid transfer protein required to repress PCD in vegetative tissues (ref. 1, below), as well as MAP kinase 4 that is required for differential responses to biotrophic versus necrotrophic pathogens (ref. 5 below). The initial ACD11 characterization included the first microarray expression profiling (10,000 ESTs) of PCD in plants. The laboratory thus has unique knowledge and experience within this field, making it particularly qualified for all aspects of the project including high-throughput assays and technology. Briefly, its specific skills include: construction of synthetic genes, large scale expression of recombinant, functionally active proteins, EST- and oligo-microarray analyses, GFP fusion confocal microscopy, and in situ PCR.

Relevant References

1) Brodersen et al. (2002) Knockout of Arabidopsis ACCELERATED-CELL-DEATH11 encoding a sphingosine transfer protein causes activation of programmed cell death & defense. Genes & Develop. 16, 490-502.
2) Ichimura et al. (2002) Mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades in plants: A new nomenclature. Trends in Plant Sci., 7, 301-8.
3) Bouquin et al. (2002) Human anti-Rhesus D IgG1 antibody produced in transgenic plants. Transgenic Res. 11, 115-122.
4) Jensen et al. (2002) Fusion genetic analysis of jasmonate signaling mutants in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 29, 595-606
5) Petersen et al. (2000) Arabidopsis MAP kinase 4 negatively regulates systemic acquired resistance, Cell 103, 1111-1120

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