Animals require cell movement to determine the final form of organs. Because there is no morphogenic cell movement in plants, and because the cell wall is usually formed immediately after cell division, plant morphogenesis depends upon careful control of both cell division and cell expansion. The auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is a critical plant hormone, controlling both cell division and cell expansion and thereby orchestrating many developmental events and environmental responses. Normal plant morphogenesis and environmental responses require modulation of auxin levels and responsiveness by interaction with other hormones, controlling biosynthesis, regulating transport, and managing storage forms. One auxin storage form of interest to the Strader lab is the side chain-lengthened compound indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), which is shortened into IAA by peroxisomal β-oxidation.
Current research in the Strader lab focuses on several projects using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana:
- The role of the MAP kinase phosphatase IBR5 on mediating responses to the plant hormones auxin, abscisic acid, and ethylene
- The role of IBA-derived auxin in plant development
- The role of IBA transport in plant development