The evolution of protein-protein interactions in the grasses

The B-class MADS box proteins APETALA3 and PISTILLATA interact as obligate heterodimers in a number of lineages. We diescovered unexpected lability in this interaction, on an evolutionary timescale, in the order that contains the grasses, the Poales. Ongoing work in the lab is focused on understanding what this lability means functionally, using Zea mays and Brachypodium distachyon as model systems. 

Floral Developmental Genetics in Maize

Despite its global importnace as a food crop, the molecular genetics of floral development in maize is still far from completely understood. Using a combination of traditional forward genetics, reverse genetics, and modern systems biology techniques, we are working to identify further floral developmental genes.