Exploring the functions of hormone signaling using omics profiling

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2022-12
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McReynolds, Maxwell Reid
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Walley, Justin W
Kelley, Dior R
Whitham, Steven A
Vollbrecht, Erik W
Yin, Yanhai
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Plant Pathology
Abstract
A plant’s ability to sense and respond to environmental cues is essential for maximizing health and productivity during times of prosperity versus periods of hardship. At the molecular level, much of the plant’s biological system that governs this balance is controlled through the coordinated actions of small signaling molecules known as hormones. While their effects on plant morphology have been studied for many years, there is a knowledge gap surrounding the characterization of the related genetic machinery that drives these changes. Additionally, the complex nature of the interactions between different hormones makes parsing their roles in the crosstalk between growth and stress especially difficult. To this end, I have applied omics-based analysis approaches to aid in elucidation of hormone molecular actions involved in root growth and the plant immune response, as follows: 1) A spatiotemporal transcriptome analysis of the maize root to generate an auxin responsive regulatory atlas. 2) The phenotypic and molecular characterization of a maize AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR (ARF) that impacts root system architecture. 3) A comparative multi-omic time course study of the Arabidopsis immune system following pathogen invasion or hormone application. Within each of these studies I aimed to globally profile how hormones mediate the plasticity of plant development and/or stress response. This ability to capture changes in a plant’s biology at such a large-scale led to the discovery of predicted novel genes and biochemical pathways associated with hormone signaling and perception. The generated data from these studies is aimed be utilized in identify promising candidate genes for future crop trait engineering applications to boost agronomic performance and perturb negative stress factors.
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