The research focus of the Douglas lab is on the regulation of plant gene expression, cell wall development, and Populus (poplar) genomics and molecular biology. Formation of the plant secondary cell wall requires coordinated activation of complex metabolic pathways in time and space. We are investigating transcription factors and transcription factor complexes that are part of a regulatory network governing wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis and poplar. In parallel, we study the unique pollen/spore cell wall, and use genetic, biochemical, and comparative genomic analyses to define the structure and biogenesis of the sporopollenin component of the pollen wall, one of nature’s most robust biopolymers. Secondary cell walls (wood) of trees like poplar represent a huge reservoir of captured solar energy. As part of a large applied genomics project, we use a battery of genomics tools including next generation resequencing of wild poplar trees to improve poplar for use as a biofuel feedstock.
Personal website: http://thedouglaslab.blogspot.ca/