ABOUT OUR RESEARCH
In our lab, our main goal is trying to understand the mechanism of how plants cope with stresses and manage to find the balance of growth and defense. Light is not only essential for photosynthetic energy production, but also functions as one of the most important environmental factors affecting plant growth and development. We want to know whether light signaling affect plant stress response. Translation is in the center of cellular responses to different stress signals; however, there is a fundamental gap in our understanding of the regulation of translation in plants. Our recent study showed that SPA1 – a major negative regulator in light signaling, has kinase domain similar to PKR and can phosphorylate many light signaling components as well as eIF2α. Using series of kinase assays, protein interaction assays, and functional studies, we will identify and construct the translational regulatory network of SPA members and their interacting partners regulating eIF2α and other translation factor under light-stress signaling crosstalk. Based on the network, we will use polysome profiling and Ribo-seq high throughput analyses of the corresponding mutants and overexpressors to reveal any preferentially translated proteins under light-stress signaling.