The Nuclear Role of the Plant Cell Death Suppressor Adi3
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Intellectual Merit: Programmed cell death is an essential process for development and immune responses in most organisms. In plants this process plays a role in leaf senescence, development of xylem tracheary elements, and host responses to pathogens. Relatively few plant genes have been identified that have a direct role in the signal transduction pathway that leads to programmed cell death. The investigator discovered the Adi3 kinase in tomato that appears to be a central component of the pathway that controls the suppression of programmed cell death. Adi3 protein localizes to the nucleus of the plant cell; but, the precise mechanism of how this protein functions is unknown. The investigator postulates that Adi3 interacts with specific nuclear proteins. This project is designed to identify and characterize these interactors using sophisticated proteomics and computational approaches to simulate and reconstruct the network of the Adi3-specific signaling pathway. Broader Impacts: Understanding how plants suppress cell death in most cellular functions, and allow the cell death to occur during senescence, xylem maturation, and protection from pathogen infection, is a very important question and has obvious potential benefits for agriculture. The integrated research and educational activities will provide training and educational opportunities for students to gain multi-disciplinary training in how to solve complex biological questions through iterations of experimentation and theory.