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NSF Funds UC Davis Plant Proteomics

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of California, Davis has reaped a $975,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund proteomics research into plants' immune systems.

The five-year Early Career Development award to Gitta Coaker in the school's Department of Plant Pathology will fund studies of the proteins that guide resistance to infection from a range of microbes, an area that is of growing interest for food sustainability research, UC Davis said this week.

More specifically, the research will seek to define proteins found in plants' cell membranes in order to gain knowledge about how they and other transcriptional changes are involved in the early responses involved in immune defense.

"Although scientists have a good understanding of transcriptional changes, how this corresponds to changes at the protein level remains elusive," Coaker said in a statement. "Working with the UC Davis proteomics core, we will investigate and characterize dynamic changes occurring at the protein level in response to pathogen perception."

Coaker will use part of the funding to train and mentor a high school teacher and high school students in the area to learn about screening for mutant lines that carry disease resistant traits in the Arabidopsis plant. The funding also will support development of an accompanying laboratory training module for use in high school biology classes.

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