James Carrington

Previous Stewart Professor, Botany and Plant Pathology

Phone: (541) 737-3347
Carrington Lab
Pub Med

B.S. University of California, Riverside
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

KEYWORDS: microRNAs; RNA Interference; Epigenetics

Small RNA Pathways in Plants. Multicellular eukaryotes contain several endogenous small RNA systems that control development, chromatin structure, genome defense and antiviral defense. We study microRNAs and the mRNA targets that they regulate. Of particular interest are the mechanisms of microRNA-mediated suppression of targets, and the roles of microRNA-guided processes during development. We also study endogenous and virus-induced siRNA pathways.

Virus-Host Interactions Controlling Compatibility and Defense. Experimentally tractable plant viruses and Arabidopsis thaliana are used to study how viruses replicate and move through their hosts, how plants perceive and respond to viruses, and how viruses counter-respond to host defense responses. Arabidopsis mutants with altered susceptibility serve as starting points for map-based cloning of host genes involved in virus infection. The lab also investigates adaptive antiviral host responses, namely, RNA silencing. Most viruses encode RNA silencing suppressor proteins that disable parts of the RNA silencing response. Interestingly, these proteins also suppress microRNA-directed pathways, leading to a spectrum of developmental defects typically associated with virus infection.