Julie Stone, PhDJulie Stone, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
N146 Beadle Center
Lincoln, NE 68588-0662

Phone: (402) 472-4902
Fax: (402) 472-2932

NEW! Publication: PLoS ONE 2011

Research Description

The major thrust of the work in my laboratory is aimed at understanding the role of PCD in controlling plant growth, development and responses to plant pathogens at the molecular level. To do this, we developed a forward genetics screen using the model plant A. thaliana and a fungal toxin that disrupts sphingolipid metabolism (fumonisin B1, FB1). Much of the work in the Stone laboratory is related to characterizing and determining the molecular basis for mutants displaying the FB1-resistant (fbr) phenotype. Our findings provide a strong basis for further work that is ongoing in the laboratory, including our confirmation of in vivo gene targets (identified by microarray gene expression analyses and bioinformatics using the consensus binding motif) and interacting protein partners (identified by yeast two-hybrid screens) for the AtSPL14/FBR6 transcription factor. We have identified a group of potential AtSPL14 target genes that suggest an important role for proteasome-regulated protein degradation, providing new information on the molecular mechanisms linking plant PCD and plant development. Double mutants generated between fbr6 and several accelerated cell death (acd) mutants have also helped delineate the pathways in which FBR6/SPL14 participates, suggesting that sphingolipid metabolism is influenced. We are investigating the links between the transcriptome, proteome, sphingolipidome in ROS-mediated PCD.