Investigating the role of putative pore-forming proteins in the immune response of Arabidopsis thaliana
All organisms have evolved immune strategies to defend against infection. While animals have evolved both cell-autonomous and humoral immune responses, plants rely solely on the innate ability of each cell to detect and defend against infection. During infection, animal cells secrete MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX and PERFORIN FORMING (MACPF) proteins that form pores in pathogen membranes resulting in their lysis and death. The model plant Arabidopsis thaliana encodes four proteins with some similarity to MACPF proteins, however the molecular function of these proteins is largely unstudied. Over the last two years, I have utilized functional genetic complementation, confocal microscopy, and genetic epistatic analysis to elucidate the role of one of these MACPF-domain containing proteins in the immune response of Arabidopsis. Through my work, I have been able to demonstrate that this protein plays a role in plant immune signaling, localizes to two sub-cellular localizations, and associates with at least one other member of the Arabidopsis MACPF family.
11:30-12:30 BioSci Rm. 3110