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Jack Schultz

Director, University of Missouri Life Science Center

Ecology of a fake plant

November 30, 2007
Lecture Hall 8, 4:00 PM

Abstract

Arabidopsis thaliana is the best-studied plant in the world, but almost everything we know about it was learned under a very narrow set of conditions which bear no relationship to its natural habitat. Yet that knowledge is often generalized to all plants. This situation resurrects a long-standing debate about the relative merits of reductionist and other approaches to science and the importance of context. What do we know about this plant, how much of it is meaningful for other plants, and what can we learn in these ways? I’ll focus on ecological and behavioral interactions between Arabidopsis and its enemies, raising more questions than I can answer (natch).

In addition, Jack will give a noon talk in Science III, rm 214 titled “How insects get plants to make galls”

Biography

Jack Schultz is a chemical ecologist; he tries to understand how chemistry mediates interactions among organisms. Schultz’s main focus has been on plant-insect interactions, and includes studies of volatile signaling between plants. After many years of field-based research with oak trees, Schultz’s lab has more recently taken a molecular approach to understanding plant responses to and interactions with insects using the “model plant”, Arabidopsis thaliana. This research has been supported continuously by the NSF for 30 years.

Readings

  1. Major Signaling Pathways Modulate Arabidopsis Glucosinolate Accumulation and Response to Both Phloem-Feeding and Chewing Insects
  2. Gene expression and glucosinolate accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana in response to generalist and specialist herbivores of different feeding guilds and the role of defense signaling pathways

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