Caitlin Donnelly

Caitlin Donnelly

WoW PhD candidate working with Geoffrey Wasteneys, Botany Department, and Brian Ellis, Michael Smith Laboratories.

My project focuses on mutations in Arabidopsis which result in altered responses to the drug propyzamide.  Treatment with propyzamide causes the wild type root to skew so that it grows to the left, rather than straight down; in mutants, the direction and/or degree of skewing is altered, depending on the mutation in question.  These mutations are in tubulin, MOR1 (a microtubule-associated protein), MAP kinase 18, and PHS1 (a MAP kinase phosphatase).

Some of these proteins have been demonstrated to interact with each other (MOR1 and tubulin, MPK18 and PHS1), so I am aiming to clarify the interactions between these and other proteins, and to characterize any phenotypic alterations (particularly of the cytoskeleton and the cell wall) in single and double mutant plants.  This research may also help to elucidate the mechanism of action of propyzamide, which is currently unknown.