Our group has entered into a number of collaborative projects with other principal investigators at the Foundation. For example, we are working with the group of Dr. Richard Dixon to study metabolic channeling in the phenylpropanoid pathway. Our group is involved in these studies by applying quantitative fluorescence microscopy techniques such as FRET (Fluorescence resonance energy transfer) and colocalization to study protein-protein interactions.
We also work closely with Dr. Rujin Chen who is interested in the mechanisms of polar auxin transport in plants. Since auxin regulates a variety of developmental processes in plants including gravitropism we are collaborating with the Chen group in characterizing how the cytoskeleton modulates auxin transport during plant responses to gravity.
Our group also collaborates with the lab of Dr. Maria Harrison at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Cornell University. For our joint project, we are using cellular and molecular approaches to gain insight into how the cytoskeleton mediates the development of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis in roots of the model legume Medicago truncatula. We are also involved in collaborative work with Dr. Jeanmarie Verchot-Lubicz at the Oklahoma State University and Dr. Richard S. Nelson on the mechanisms of virus cell-to cell movement in plants. We are particularly interested in the role of the cytoskeleton and the endomembrane system in movement of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and Potato virus X (PVX).
More information on research in the Blancaflor Lab