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Looking for a post-doc for my lab

Dawn Luthe dsluthe at ra.msstate.edu
Fri Jan 10 10:03:45 EST 2003

Do know any good students who are looking for a post-doc? I have one
open to look at signaling in response to insect feeding in corn.

Here is a brief summary of the project.

1.a. Overall project objective.

Insect herbivory is responsible for 15% of the world's crop losses each
year [1], and although the most important crops grown worldwide are
corn, rice and wheat, virtually nothing is known about insect defense
signaling pathways in these monocot species. We proposal to investigate
wound/herbivore signal transduction pathways in corn (Zea mays L.)
genotypes (Mp704 and Mp708) that have genetic resistance fall armyworm
(Spodoptera frugiperda) and several other lepidoptera [2, 3]. These
plants accumulate a unique 33-kD cysteine protease at the wound site
within one hour of larval feeding, and it continues to accumulate up to
seven days after infestation [4]. Growth of fall armyworm larvae reared
on corn tissues expressing the protease is reduced 50 to 80% [4, 5]. The
protease appears to inhibit nutrient utilization by damaging the
insect's peritrophic matrix [6]. Although the 33-kD cysteine protease is
involved in the resistance phenotype, factors that regulate its
accumulation have not been identified. The purpose of the proposed
research is to understand the wound/herbivore signal transduction
pathway in corn, an important moncotyledenous crop plant. We will
investigate signaling pathways in corn genotypes that are both resistant
and susceptible to fall armyworm feeding.

Specific objectives are to determine 1] the mechanism of the rapid,
wound/insect-induced accumulation of the 33-kD cysteine protease; 2] the
effect of jasmonic acid (JA) and other phytohormones on the accumulation
of 33-kD cysteine protease and other defense proteins; and 3] the role
of NADPH oxidase and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the corn signal
transduction pathway.

Thanks, Dawn

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