The term "Plant Signaling" encompasses the many ways that plant cells perceive their environment, as well as cell-cell signaling within the plant.
Sheng Luan studies how plants perceive and respond to extracellular signals by modifying their developmental and physiological programs. His lab has identified a new molecular network for calcium signal transduction in plants. Downstream of these early signaling events, plants respond to environmental signals by regulating the biochemical processes, including those in the chloroplasts. The Luan Lab focuses on the new regulators for the biogenesis of the photosynthetic complexes (bioenergy conversion) and for starch metabolism (biomass production).
Peter Quail and his team research molecular mechanisms by which light regulates gene expression in plants, focusing on the phytochrome family of photoreceptors. These photoreceptor molecules act as biological switches. Upon perceiving the light signal, changes in transcription are detectable within five minutes. The lab has also developed a novel light-switchable gene promoter system potentially usable in any light-accessible eukaryotic cell for rapid, conditional induction or repression of gene expression.
Russell Jones (Professor Emeritus) focused on understanding the mechanisms of hormonal signaling in plant cells.