Ph.D., Plant Biology, UC Berkeley, 2015
B.A., Biology and History with High Honors, Swarthmore College, 2008
I study maize leaf development from a cellular perspective. Currently, my main focus is to develop methods to visualize early stages of leaf development to test theoretical models of how maize leaves take shape.
In collaboration with Pat Zambryski (UC Berkeley), I also study the regulation of transport through plasmodesmata, nanoscopic channels in the plant cell wall that connect the cytosol of neighboring cells.
Alongside these projects, I have also investigated signaling pathways that regulate the formation of stromules, thin, tubular, stroma-filled extensions of the chloroplast envelope that are ubiquitous in plants but have no well-defined functions.
Finally, in collaboration with Barbara Baker (USDA/UC Berkeley), I investigate the role of small RNAs in plant anti-viral immunity.
Brunkard JO, Runkel AM, Zambryski PC (2015) Chloroplasts extend stromules independently and in response to internal redox signals. PNAS 112(32):10044-9.
featured in Hanson MR(2015) Reactive oxygen species signal chloroplasts to extend themselves. PNAS 112(32):9799-800.
Brunkard JO, Runkel AM, Zambryski PC (2015) The cytosol must flow: intercellular transport through plasmodesmata. Curr Opin Cell Biol 35:13-20.
Brunkard JO, Runkel AM, Zambryski PC (2015) Evolution. Comment on "A promiscuous intermediate underlies the evolution of LEAFY DNA binding specificity." Science 347(6222):621.
Brunkard JO, Burch-Smith TM, Runkel AM, Zambryski P (2015) Investigating Plasmodesmata Genetics with Virus-Induced Gene Silencing and an Agrobacterium-Mediated GFP Movement Assay. Meth. Mol. Biol. 1217:185-198.
Brunkard JO, Runkel AM, Zambryski P (2014) Cell-cell signalling in plants - cross-talk among chloroplasts, mitochondria and plasmodesmata. The Biochemist 36(5):11-16.
Brunkard JO, Runkel AM, Zambryski PC (2013) Plasmodesmata dynamics are coordinated by intracellular signaling pathways. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 16(5).
Li F, Pignatta D, Bendix C, Brunkard JO, Cohn MM, Tung J, Sun H, Kumar P, Baker B (2012) MicroRNA regulation of plant innate immune receptors. PNAS 109(5):1790-5.
Stonebloom S, Brunkard JO, Cheung AC, Jiang K, Feldman L, Zambryski PC (2012) Redox states of plastids and mitochondria differentially regulate intercellular transport via plasmodesmata. Plant Physiology 158(1):190-9.
Burch-Smith TM, Brunkard JO, Choi YG, Zambryski PC (2011) Organelle-nucleus cross-talk regulates plant intercellular transport via plasmodesmata. PNAS 108(51):E1451-60.
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2012)
Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (2012)
NIH Genetics Training Grant (2011)