The Oppenheimer lab focuses on understanding how the assembly and disassembly of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons are regulated. Cytoskeleton dynamics underlie many fundamental cellular processes such as control of cell shape, cell movement, and membrane trafficking. We use a multidisciplinary approach to this problem by employing methods and strategies from biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology. Most of our cytoskeleton research is carried out using the reference plant, Arabidopsis thaliana (mouse ear cress) because it is highly amenable to molecular methods.
From this Expert
Q: Are genetic manipulation (GM) techniques too crude and inexact to enable the cutting and pasting of complex multi-genic traits such as nitrogen fixation in grains, drought tolerance and salt tolerance into crop plants? As Dr Richard Richards of...
Posted On: Wednesday, 7/31/2013 5:51 am
Answered By: David Oppenheimer, Associate Professor, University of Florida, Friday, 4/11/2014 6:21 pm
A: Generally speaking, complex traits are more difficult to manipulate than simple traits like herbicide resistance. However, it has been repeatedly shown that by manipulating the expression of regulatory genes or signaling proteins, one can control entire developmental or metabolic pathways that control complex traits. Dr. James is somewhat correct that drought tolerance is more complex than herbicide resistance, but researchers have been successfully engineering plants for drought... Continue Reading
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