Scientific questions 2012/2013
The wound initiation problem
A scientific question of interest to the group is: 'what are the earliest events that initiate jasmonate (JA) synthesis after wounding?' Getting at the core mechanism of the wound-activation of the JA pathway requires genetic approaches. A long term effort in the lab to design and execute novel genetic screens has started to pay off. Our data on the fou2 mutant (Bonaventure et al., 2007a, 2007b; Glauser et al., 2008; Behyl et al, 2009) implicates changes in membrane polarization and cation flux in early events in the activation of JA synthesis. Several new mutants are now being characterised.
The genetics of nonenzymatic oxidation
Do oxygenated fragments derived from the oxidative damage of polyunsaturated fatty acids really signal as electrophiles in vivo? If so how do they do this? Where are these fragments gnerated in the cell and how are they metabolised? Our recent work supports a beneficial role for nonenzymatic oxidation. Will this stand up to rigorous testing using forward genetics?