Biology is fundamental to our changing world. The 21st century challenge for our students, our scholars, and the greater society is to understand our place in this changing world and to create fundamental knowledge for informed policies, economies, and social structure.
How do organisms create such complex and beautiful shapes? And how do they do it so reproducibly? Plants are an excellent system to study these questions. For instance, the HD-ZIPIII family of transcription factors are >700 million years old and regulate nearly all aspects of plant development. Consequences of HD-ZIPIII dysregulation on plant morphology are severe (pictured here). Understanding how HD-ZIPIII proteins work is a central theme of the lab.
Giant ‘polytene’ chromosomes (white) from a fruit fly with a fluorescent probe (red) that hybridizes to a telomere-restricted DNA repeat.
Escherichia coli cells with fluorescently labeled chromosomal loci.
Drosophila are small flies, typically pale yellow to reddish brown to black, with red eyes. Many species, including the noted Hawaiian picture-wings, have distinct black patterns on the wings. The plumose (feathery) arista, bristling of the head and thorax, and wing venation are characters used to diagnose the family.