Maloof Lab:Jose M. Jimenez-Gomez
QTL analysis of the shade avoidance response in Arabidopsis
Plants form different environments present different degrees of responsiveness to the same light stimulus. For example, when plants accommodated to sunny environments detect foliar shade from neighboring vegetation they respond growing faster, with taller stems and longer leaves, a phenomenon called the "shade avoidance response". On the other hand, plants surrounded by tall vegetation, used to the shade and do not present this response.
To identify the molecular mechanisms underlying this differences we are performing QTL analysis using a previously developed, well characterized Recombinant Inbred Line set descent from two different natural populations of Arabidopsis thaliana: Bayreuth from German low altitude, fallow lands, and Shahdara, from the high mountains of Tadjikistan.
My research focuses in the changes produced at the molecular level during evolution. In order to do so, I analyze the vast variation in light responses existing in nature, as well as the effect that domestication has in the way that plants perceive and respond to light.
A more detailed explanation on plant adaptation, responses to light and molecular evolution can be found at the Maloof lab webpage.