The Mary Wildermuth lab studies mechanisms by which pathogens facilitate their growth and reproduction on a plant host and how plants defend themselves against such attack. The phytohormone salicylic acid (SA) is critical for both local and systemic responses to pathogens. Because SA plays important roles in many biological processes in addition to plant defense, its concentration must be well controlled. I am currently studying the Arabidopsis GH3 family of enzymes, which belong to the broader firefly luciferase family of enzymes. GH3 enzymes play a critical role in regulating levels of active forms of phytohormones such as auxin and jasmonate through conjugating them to amino acids. My goal is to understand the role of amino acid conjugation in the regulation of SA metabolism and plant defense. This research should identify critical control points in plant defense with an eye towards development of tools to decrease loss of crops due to disease in environmentally and socially responsible ways.
B.S. Biology - University of Utah - 2010
Mackelprang, R. & Goller, F. Ventilation patterns of the songbird lung/air sac system during different behaviors. J. Exp. Biol. 216, 3611–3619 (2013).
This publication is from my undergraduate research in Dr. Franz Goller's laboratory at the University of Utah.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow: 2014-2017
Student Mentoring and Research Teams (SMART) Mentor: 2015
Arnon Fellow: 2013-2014