Laboratory of Plant-Fungal Interactions & Plant Reproductive Biology



Fungal hyphae

Pollen tube

Tip-growing cells are arguably the fastest growing cells. We are interested in understanding the signaling mechanisms in tip-growing eukaryotic cells. The pollen (tube) of flowering plants and fungal pathogenic hyphae are the two model systems in our lab. Pollen tube growth is an important step in plant sexual reproduction. We are currently dissecting the signaling pathway mediated by pollen receptor kinases in tomato pollen tubes, in collaboration with Sheila McCormick and Dr. Jorge Muschietti. The group of ascomycete fungi includes many plant and insect pathogens, as well as saprotrophs. We are currently using the wheat scab pathogen, Fusarium graminearum and the maize anthracnose stalk rot fungus, Colletotrichum graminicola as model systems, to study what makes a plant pathogen.