Deploying digital PCR to quantify dynamic mTOR-sensitive shifts in plant RNA metabolism
In virtually all eukaryotic cells, a protein kinase called TARGET OF RAPAMYCIN (TOR or mTOR) coordinates metabolism by sensing nutrient availability and regulating downstream responses. TOR acts through a complex network of protein substrates to fine-tune gene expression at transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational stages. My lab focuses on how TOR modulates RNA metabolism (e.g., splicing, stability, translation efficiency, etc.) to support growth and development when nutrients are limiting. Recently, we have been developing digital PCR methods with the QIAcuity platform to interrogate dynamic changes in mRNA structure, translation efficiency and interaction with RNA-binding proteins to robustly define specific TOR signaling axes in plants. We will use these assays to conduct comprehensive screens to identify the upstream and downstream signaling networks that coordinate plant metabolism, with the long-term goal of guiding efforts to breed resilient, high-yielding crops and illuminate the evolution of health-related signaling networks in eukaryotes.
About the speaker
Jacob O. Brunkard, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Genetics
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Jacob (Jake) Brunkard is an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The Brunkard Lab investigates how plants coordinate genome expression with metabolic cues at the molecular level.
Academic Basic Research