Associate director, Associate professor of biology
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Current research in Lucia Strader’s lab focuses on several projects using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Strader’s research is elucidating the relationships between the plant hormones auxin, abscisic acid (ABA), and ethylene, determining the role of the auxin precursor indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) in plant development, and understanding the establishment of the Outer Lateral Domain of plant cells. 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.