Evolution of Plant Secondary Metabolites

Kliebenstein Lab

UC Davis Plant Sciences

The main focus of the laboratories research deals with secondary metabolites in plants and how they control plant biology at a variety of levels.

Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic pathogen that attacks numerous crops and causes significant economic loss. Botrytis is a highly variable pathogen and we are using the model plant Arabidopsis to identify resistance mechanisms that can inhibit large diverse Botrytis genotypes.

Network Variation of Botrytis cinerea/ Arabidopsis thaliana Interactions.

Glucosinolates are small plant secondary metabolites that control resistance to both insects and pathogens. In addition, they also have a major impact on human nutrition by being both anti-cancer and anti-ulcer compounds. This activity is controlled by hydrolysis

Genetic Control of Glucosinolate Hydrolysis

Quantitative genetics is rapidly being revolutionized by the introduction of genomics technologies and high-throughput phenotyping. We are querying the role of higher order epistasis (three locus interactions or higher) in controlling plant quantitative traits. Additionally, we are formally testing our ability to compare transcriptomic and metabolomic QTL.

NSF Plant Genome - Quantitative Genomics -

Plant biochemistry and pathogen resistance are frequently controlled by quantitative genetic loci (called QTL). These loci are important from biological, agricultural and an evolutionary context and we are working on technologies that may enhance our rate of cloning these loci.

Network Analysis of Complex Traits

Projects

Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic pathogen that can cause significant damage to greenhouse grown tomatoes as well as stored fruit. We are using quantitative gene analysis to identify loci controlling resistance in wild tomato species in a hope to increase resistance.

Natural Variation of Botrytis cinerea/ Lycopersicon Interactions.

Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic pathogen that can cause significant damage to greenhouse grown tomatoes as well as stored fruit. We are using quantitative gene analysis to identify loci controlling resistance in wild tomato species in a hope to increase resistance.

Natural Variation of Botrytis cinerea/ Vitis Interactions.

Glucosinolates show a developmental regulation in their structural modification such that seed glucosinolates have benzyl esters added to their free hydroxyls. We are attempting to identify the genes controlling this process through high-throughput metabolite profiling of mutants.

Genetic Control of Seed Glucosinolate Production