Faculty

Image: spacer only

The faculty in the Plant Biology Graduate Group have wide-ranging research interests. These interests fall into four main specializations. There are over 60 faculty members in the PBGG from more than nine different departments spanning three of UC Davis' four colleges.

An alphabetical list of all faculty members affiliated with the Plant Biology Graduate Group is on this Web page, or you may view a list of faculty by specialization and research interests through the drop-down menu.

Chair of Plant Biology: Kentaro Inoue

Faculty in Focus Group:



Click on a faculty member's name to view his or her full profile.
An asterisk (*) denotes faculty members who are considering taking a student during the 2013 – 14 academic year. This information was last updated on June 24th, 2013.

dmbeckles@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab

Regulation of carbon allocation in plants and how this changes in response to environmental stress; Starch granule biosynthesis and molecular structure; Postharvest quality of tomato fruit.
abbennett@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab
amberry@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology

Biological nitrogen fixation; root and rhizosphere plant-microbe associations, and applications in agroecology; soil microbial ecology; microbial genomics; tree root architecture; plant nutrition and ecophysiology; microbial deconstruction of cellulosic biomass and microbial biofuels.
ajbloom@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
eblumwald@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
rmbostock@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab

Research and teaching interests are in the general areas of plant pathology and the biochemistry and molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions. I also serve as the Director of the western region of the National Plant Diagnostic Network, a consortium of plant diagnostic laboratories at land grant universities and state departments of agriculture with support from the USDA-NIFA to enhance agricultural biosecurity in the U.S. (see http://www.npdn.org)
kjbradford@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab
Seed Biology
My research interests are in all aspects of seed biology, from the genetics, molecular biology and physiology of seed development, dormancy and germination to the production, storage, enhancement and utilization of seeds for agricultural purposes. I also am involved in mathematical modeling of seed germination responses to environmental inputs with applications for seed ecology. My disciplinary expertise is primarily in the hormonal regulation of plant growth and development and plant water relations. I am Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center and am engaged in research, extension and public service relevant to the seed and plant biotechnology industries.
sbrady@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
Genomics, Developmental Biology, Plant Biology, Systems Biology, Transcriptional Networks
abbritt@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology

Genetics of DNA repair and mutagenesis in the higher plant Arabidopsis. How plants repair and/or tolerate DNA damage generated by chemicals, UV light, and gamma radiation. Processes of genetic recombination, in meiotic and mitotic cells. Transcriptional regulation of damage response.
phbrown@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
Plant and Soil Nutrition
Perennial Horticulture. Physiology and biochemistry of plant nutrient uptake, interactions of nutrition with disease resistance and the selection of crops with improved nutrient efficiency. Nutritional requirements of both annual and perennial systems, application technology and development of environmentally sound fertilizer use. Molecular and genetic aspects of nutrient acquisition and tolerance. Nutritional physiology. Boron, Nickel.
jcallis@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab

My laboratory studies two processes. The first is the ubiquitin pathway, which is a protein modification pathway, whereby the protein ubiquitin is covalently attached to other proteins. This alters the longevity, activity or localization of the ubiquitinated protein. We are interested in understanding the specificity and regulation of the ubiquitin pathway. We try to understand how proteins are recruited to the ubiquitinating enzymes. There are are large number of ubiquitinating enzymes whose functions are not known. We are taking a reverse genetics approach to understand the function of RING E3 ligases which interact with substrate proteins and catalyze ubiquitin transfer. We use a variety of techniques- biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics.

We also study a family of proteins called pfkB proteins, proteins related to E. coli phosphofructokinase, but which have diverse and uncharacterized roles. We are focusing on a subset of pfkB proteins localized to the plant plastid. Some of these are important for chloroplast transcription and we are determining their functions.
glcoaker@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
plant microbe interactions
Research in my laboratory includes studies on the mechanisms controlling pathogen evolution and virulence as well as plant resistance signaling cascades. A common thread to the research that is conducted in the laboratory is the use of the Gram-negative bacterium, Pseudomonas syringae, for understanding how disease is caused on susceptible genotypes whereas defense signaling is elicited on resistant plant genotypes.
lcomai@ucdavis.edu Lab
drcook@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab
chcrisosto@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Postharvest Fruit Physiologist
The goal of my research program is to gain a better understanding of the orchard and postharvest factors that control fruit flavor and storage quality. I am applying genomic techniques to identify gene(s) responsible for fruit organoleptic characteristics (both desirable and undesirable), and investigating physiological disorders such as chilling injury. We are also using sensory techniques, such as trained panels and “in store” consumer tests, to describe fruit flavor characteristics.
amdandekar@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Molecular, biochemical and genomic dissection of tree fruit traits
I am particularly fascinated by the biochemical/physiological manifestation of phenotypic traits. My lab is interested in understanding the relationship between specific traits and genes and is also interested in defining the system by understanding the functional relationships between traits in a genomics and whole plant context. We are also interested in developing technology and tools to enable trait specific diagnostics and to improve protein and/or gene based therapies.
kdehesh@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Structural, molecular and biochemical analysis of fatty acid biosynthetic enzymes; Regulatory mechanism(s) controlling oxylipin branch pathways; molecular genetics of lipid signaling.
tmdejong@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
spdineshkumar@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab

Host-pathogen interactions; Programmed cell death; Autophagy; Immune signaling; Pathogen effector biology; Protein microarrays; Genomics and Proteomics
gdrakakaki@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics

Our research is focused on endomembrane trafficking in plant cells. A key area is how trafficking pathways control cell wall biosynthesis and polysaccharide deposition. Our group employs multidisciplinary research approaches, including the use of small molecules (chemical genomics), organelle proteomics and genetics.
jdubcovsky@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
My research is focused on wheat geneticas and wheat improvement
ajfischer@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
Herbicide resistance and weed ecophysiology
My strategic and applied research addresses critical weed challenges to California rice production, such as the evolution of herbicide resistance in major weeds and the recent appearance of weedy forms of rice, which threaten the sustainability of this crop. My program works towards: a) understanding the physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms endowing herbicide resistance in key weeds of rice, b) elucidating effects of landscape and crop management on the genetic structure and the spread of herbicide resistant weeds in rice, c) developing knowledge on weed biology and the ecophysiology of rice-weed interactions, and d) developing novel weed management concepts for rice. My program integrates a wide range of research activities whereby basic science supports novel concepts for field-level solutions.
csgasser@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Molecular basis of plant development and evolution of development.
plgepts@ucdavis.edu Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Crop bioidversity and bean breeding
Since the beginning of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, humans have molded the diversity of crop plants around them to suit their diverse needs for food and beverage, feed, clothing and other numerous uses. Starting with the process of domestication, crop biodiversity results from the fascinating interactions among humans, plants, and their environment. My research and teaching program is focused on elucidating the evolutionary processes that have shaped evolution of crop plants under cultivation. I focus particularly on Phaseolus beans because they are such an important part of the human diet, especially in developing countries, and provide many health benefits. Other crops of interest in my lab are additional crops from the Americas such as peppers (Capsicum), wild maize (teosinte), amaranth, and agaves. These provide a comparative dimension to studies of crop evolution because they encompass a wide range of reproductive systems, life histories, and human uses. On the more applied level, I look at the consequences of our findings for plant breeding. One of my main activities is a participation in the ABC-KT project (i.e., African Bean Consortium, funded by the Kirkhouse Trust), which seeks to develop a marker-assisted selection capability in East African bean breeding programs. I have recently taken over the grain legume breeding program at UC Davis, which focuses on the development of new varieties of lima and common bean and garbanzos for the state of California.
megilbert@ucdavis.edu
tmgradziel@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab
agroover@fs.fed.us Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
My lab studies the developmental biology of forest trees. We also develop molecular genetic and genomic tools for gene discovery and characterization for the model forest trees in the genus Populus.
jjharada@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Molecular, genetic, biochemical, and genomic dissection of embryogenesis and seed development in plants.
slharmer@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
Understanding the molecular basis of circadian rhythms in plants and how these daily rhythms affect plant physiology.
kinoue@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
What are the biological significance and molecular bases of gene duplications?
We address this question by comparing properties and functions of two sets of prokaryote-derived homologous proteins in chloroplasts, namely protein translocation channel Toc75 and its paralog OEP80/Toc75-V; three type I signal peptidases, Plsp1, Plsp2A, Plsp2B).
Organelle Biogenesis - Protein evolution
How did the protein import channel in the organelle envelope evolve from a protein in the outer membrane of an ancestral cyanobacterium? We elucidate the functions and sorting/assembly mechanisms of Toc75 and OEP80/Toc75-V, which are homologous to a family of proteins essential for the viability of Gram-negative bacteria.
Organelle Biogenesis - Development of Membrane System
How do the intraorganellar membrane systems develop? We take three strategies. Strategy 1 is to define the molecular bases underlying thylakoid disruption due to the lack of signal peptide processing. In strategy 2, we elucidate the mechanism by which Plsp1 is sorted to the envelope and thylakoid within a chloroplast. In strategy 3, we attempt to address how citrus fruit peel changes its color from green to orange, then back to green. (dis-assembly and re-assembly of thylakoids).
mjasien@ucdavis.edu Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Lab
Population genetics and evolution of agricultural weeds and invasive plants
The Jasieniuk lab studies the population genetics, molecular ecology, and evolution of agricultural weeds and invasive plants. Our research focuses on elucidating the genetic, demographic, and evolutionary processes underlying the introduction, establishment, and spread of weeds and invasive plants, and their adaptation to changing environments, including management practices.
jjernstedt@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
tkasuga@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics

In order to establish and persist in a non-native land, the introduced species has to adapt to different environments and unfamiliar host species. Our lab investigates the contribution of epigenetics to invasive biology of plant pathogenic microbes.
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab
Quantitative Systems Biology
We focus on two major questions using plant natural chemistry as our model system. Plant natural chemistry generates compounds that provide the taste, flavor, color and medicinal activities that people associate with specific plants. However, their primary role appears to be helping the plant cope with its environment by attracting pollinators, repelling attackers and protecting the plant from sunlight. These aspects make these compounds easy to measure and key tools in understanding modern systems biology and genomics. The first question that we use these chemicals for is to understand how thousands of genes coordinate within a system to control the proper functioning of the system. This involved modern quantitative genomics and tools such as genome wide association mapping and QTL analysis. We are at the forefront of developing network analysis approaches and theory to help with the modern synthesis of the gene-to-phenotype linkage. The second question we focus on is why plants make these chemicals. They have broad activities and plants make an amazing diversity of chemicals, each potentially with its own function and evolutionary history. We are primarily using the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, to study how its secondary metabolites control interactions with both insects and fungi. As a part of this we are using a mixture of functional genetics, quantitative genetics, plant biology, evolutionary biology and metabolite profiling to develop as in depth and broad a picture as possible. To broaden this picture, we are expanding into rice, tomato, Lycopersicon, and grapes, Vitis. An additional avenue that we are pursuing is the fact that fungi also make secondary metabolites. For instance, Botrytis cinerea produces a suite of secondary metabolites whose main role appears to be killing plant cells. Thus by studying how Arabidopsis and Botrytis interact, we hope to analyze how organisms can combat each other through metabolism. We are expanding our quantitative systems approaches to study genetic variation in both the host and pathogen of this system simultaneously.
jmlabavitch@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Plant Cell Wall Research
My colleagues and I focus our research attention on aspects of plant development in which plant cell wall metabolism plays an important role. This includes studies of fruit ripening and the interactions of pathogens and insect pests with plants. In recent years our studies have also included aspects of cell wall disassembly that might be controlled and enhanced in order to optimize the generation of biofuels from crop plant "residues".
jclagarias@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab
Molecular Photobiology
Research in my laboratory focuses on the phytochrome superfamily, light sensing biliproteins that are widespread in eukaryotes (plants, algae, fungi, oomycetes and diatoms) and prokaryotes (both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic species). Phytochromes and cyanobacteriochromes are light-switches whose function depends on the light color. Plants, algae and cyanobacteria use these pigmented protein sensors to regulate photosynthesis-associated gene expression for optimum photosynthesis under the ambient light conditions and for regulation of growth, movement or reproduction to avoid suboptimal light conditions. Our studies utilize representative species from all lineages of oxygenic photosynthetic organisms, including cyanobacteria, green alga and plants. Mainly biochemical in nature, our research focuses on structure-function and molecular evolution of these optogenetic light sensors. Ongoing research seeks to leverage this knowledge for optimizing yield and agronomic performance of photosynthetic species used for food, fiber and energy production.
bliu@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Lab
Cell biology of the cytoskeleton and intracellular motility in plant and fungal cells. The dynamics of microtubules and actin microfilaments during plant cell division and cell growth. Roles of kinesin motor proteins in mitosis and cytokinesis. Molecular mechanisms of cytoskeleton-mediated hyphal growth in filamentous fungi. Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa (rice), and Gossypium hirsutum (cotton) as model systems for plant studies, and Aspergillus nidulans as a model for fungal studies.
wjlucas@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab

Our lab is interested in the evolution and function of plasmodesmata, the intercellular organelle of the plant kingdom that mediates in both nutrient delivery and cell-to-cell signaling of information macromolecules, including transcription factors and RNA-protein complexes. We are also working on cellular and molecular aspects of virus infection involving transport of infectious RNA/DNA through plasmodesmata, during local infection, and long-distance movement of virus through the phloem for systemic infection within the plant. A major current focus of our lab is the isolation and characterization of the proteins that constitute the supramolecular structure of plasmodesmata.These studies are providing insights into the mechanisms involved in the selective trafficking of proteins/RNA that contribute to supracellular control over plant growth and development. A second emphasis in the lab involves studies on the role of the plant vascular system, and the phloem in particular, as an information superhighway for the delivery of proteins and ribonucleoprotein complexes involved in regulating developmental events in distantly located tissues and organs.
jnmaloof@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab

Light is essential for plant growth. Perhaps as a consequence, plants have an intricate set of photoreceptors and responses that they use to optimize their development and physiology to suit their light environment. We study the ways in which plants have evolved differences in their light perception and responses that allow them to thrive in different environments. We are interested in both the genetic and molecular basis of variation in light response as well as the adaptive consequences. A combination of molecular and quantitative genetics is used in Arabidopsis, Tomato, and Brassica
kamcdonald@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
rwmichelmore@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Genetics and genomics of disease resistance in plants
Please see website for details
tmmurphy@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology

Enzymes of DNA repair. Identification of plants in forensic situations.
dbneale@ucdavis.edu Lab

Genomics, Population Genetics, Landscape Genetic, Complex traits
sdoneill@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Plant Reproduction, Development and Biodiversity
Our research focuses on the molecular basis of plant reproductive development and shoot apical meristem development. My laboratory has focused on three major areas: (1) analysis of the role of key homeobox genes, such as ATML1 and WUSHEL, and hormones (auxin) during post-zygotic plant growth and development using the model genetic system Arabidopsis, (2) pollination of flowers and postpollination ovary and fruit development using Phalaenopsis and Vanilla orchids (Orchidaceae), and (3) the photoperiodic control of flowering in the photoperiodic short-day plant, Pharbitis nil, the Japanese morning glory. Currently, we are engaged in multidisciplinary collaborative research on Vanilla planifolia and its Mesoamerican wild crop relatives (Vanilloideae, Orchidaceae) to study flower and fruit development, disease resistance (Fusarium), and critical issues facing small-holder farmers in food insecure and impoverished developing nations. We also maintain a collection of rare and endangered Vanilla species, including Vanilla planifolia wild-crop germplasm collected from the region of its evolutionary origin and related Vanilla species of Mesoamerican and South American origin.
ktpawu@ucdavis.edu Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Carbon and Water Fluxes from Plant Ecosystems
Turbulent transfer of trace gases from plant ecosystems, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor. Modeling plant canopy-atmosphere interactions
dpotter@ucdavis.edu Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
systematic botany
Plant phylogeny, evolution, and taxonomy, especially diversity and relationships of crop plants and their wild relatives.
ethnobotany
Relationships and interactions between plants and people across cultures, time, and space.
alpowell@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Lab

My primary research interest is to understand the roles of enzymes and proteins in developing and ripening fruit. I have three major research topics: 1. Identify functions in green fruit that can improve the resistance of red fruit to pathogens, 2. Determine how Golden 2-like transcription factors regulate chloroplasts in fruit prior to ripening, 3. Characterize proteins and enzymes that modify the plant cell wall during fruit ripening, 4. Develop transgenic rootstocks for grafting to improve scion products. I work primarily with tomato and Arabidopsis but have also worked with strawberry and melons. Our group works with necrotrophic fungal pathogens and transgenic plants to investigate the functions of proteins and enzymes. I have taught an undergraduate lab course on techniques used in research in the plant sciences (BIT 161B) and a course on scientific writing and proposal preparation (BIT/PLB188).
mrejmanek@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
Predicting and quantifying the risk of invasions by plants. Role of spatial aggregation in competition among different plant species. Plant community classification and dynamics. Modeling. Tropical ecology: seed dispersal and regeneration of tropical forests.
erejmankova@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
jhrichards@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab

Plant physiological ecology, Plant mineral nutrition, Stress physiology, Soil-plant interelationships, Plant adaptation to climate
pcronald@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
abrose@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
The effect of introns on gene expression.
Introns are often dismissed as junk DNA, but they can have huge effects on gene expression through mechanisms that are not yet understood. I am investigating this interesting phenomenon in plants using molecular genetics, and by testing bioinformatic insights generated by Dr. Ian Korf and his group.
rossibarra@ucdavis.edu Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Lab

Evolutionary genomics of maize and its wild relatives
jschmitt@ucdavis.edu Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Environmental and Integrative Biology

Plant ecological genomics and evolutionary ecology; mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity, local adaptation and response to environmental change
kashackel@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
wksilk@ucdavis.edu Environmental and Integrative Biology
Quantitative Plant Biologist
Interests center on plant-environment interactions, particularly quantitative analyses of growth and development, nutrient cycling,kinematics, biomechanics, best management practices
nrsinha@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Lab

Genetic and molecular analysis of compound leaf development in tomato. Evolution of plant form. Plasticity in cells and organs at the genomic level in response to developmental and environmental cues.
dastclair@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
sundar@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
For details please see the lab website at

Genetics and molecular biology of plant reproduction. Functional genomics in model plants- Arabidopsis and rice. Bioinformatics of small RNAs. Microbiomes and metagenomics.
thtai@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
smtheg@ucdavis.edu Cell and Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
Protein translocation across biological membranes, with a focus on chloroplast membranes. Mechanism of multimeric protein complex assembly. Chloroplast bioenergetics.
ltian@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology

Phytonutrient biochemistry and physiology; Biosynthesis, accumulation and function of carotenoids and polyphenols in plants; Targeted improvement of crop phytonutrient composition and content for enhanced nutritional and medicinal values.
avandeynze@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Plant Breeding
Application of technology to plant breeding in California crops
Pepper genetics
Elucidating the basis of capsaicin synthesis and resistance to phytophthora in pepper.
awalker@ucdavis.edu Systematics and Evolutionary Biology
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Development of grape rootstocks with resistance to soil-borne pests and development of new disease resistant fruiting cultivars. Current research projects include: development of rapid screens for resistance; determining the inheritance of and mapping resistance to grape pests and pathogens; characterizing the genetic diversity of grape pests; studying the taxonomy and evolution of grape.
jiyoder@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Environmental and Integrative Biology
Lab
Molecular genetics of plant-plant interactions

fnegre@ucdavis.edu Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics
Lab
Plant Volatile Metabolism
Our research focuses on understanding plant volatile metabolism in the context of 1) aroma development in fruits and vegetables, and 2) plant defense mechanisms against pests. Although much progress has been made in achieving and maintaining good appearance quality of fruits and vegetables, there is a general consensus that flavor quality is "the last frontier". Repeat purchases are often prevented due to consumer’s dissatisfaction with product flavor quality. Flavor, defined as the combined sensation derived from taste and aroma, is a complex trait that is still poorly understood at analytical, biochemical and molecular levels. Our research investigates how volatile compounds (which confer the aroma of fruits and vegetables) are formed during fruit development and ripening, and how postharvest storage conditions affect their production. Volatiles also serve as the plant’s interface with the environment, and have been shown to play important roles in protecting plants against herbivores or pathogens. Understanding defense-related volatile biosynthesis could open new avenues for harnessing plant natural defenses against pests.


Emeritus Members

Click on a faculty member's name to view his or her full profile.

djdurzan@ucdavis.edu Plant Science
dggilchrist@ucdavis.edu Plant Pathology
ssgoyal@ucdavis.edu Plant Science
tchsiao@ucdavis.edu Land Air & Water Resources
djnevins@ucdavis.edu Plant Science
daphillips@ucdavis.edu Plant Science
cfquiros@ucdavis.edu Plant Science
Lab
msreid@ucdavis.edu Plant Science
ajstemler@ucdavis.edu Plant Biology
Biochemical and biophysical aspects of photosynthesis. Structural and functional properties of chloroplast thylakoid membranes. Mechanism of oxygen evolution, inhibition of electron flow by monovalent anions, and resistance to herbicides that target the thylakoid membrane.