Lucia Strader, PhD

[img] Lucia Strader

Principal Investigator

Lucia Strader, Ph.D.,is Associate Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds faculty status in the Plant and Microbial Biosciences and the Molecular Genetics and Genomics Programs. She is Co-Leader of Working Group 3 for the Center for Engineering MechanoBiology.

Animals require cell movement to determine the final form of organs. Because there is no morphogenic cell movement in plants, and because the cell wall is usually formed immediately after cell division, plant morphogenesis depends upon careful control of both cell division and cell expansion. The auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is a critical plant hormone, controlling both cell division and cell expansion and thereby orchestrating many developmental events and environmental responses. Normal plant morphogenesis and environmental responses require modulation of auxin levels and responsiveness by interaction with other hormones, controlling biosynthesis, regulating transport, and managing storage forms. As such, auxin is critical for generating the mechanical forces necessary to drive plant growth and is responsible for growth in response to mechanical forces.

Current research in the Strader lab focuses on several projects using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana:

  • Regulation of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs
  • Auxin regulation of cell mechanics
  • The role of the MAP kinase phosphatase IBR5 on mediating responses to the plant hormones auxin, abscisic acid, and ethylene
  • The role of IBA-derived auxin in plant development

Visit the Strader Lab website.

Keywords: auxin, plant morphogenesis, cell division and expansion, environmental response, biosynthesis, cell transport, storage forms, indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), mechanobiology

Working Group(s):  Working Group 1: How do cells sense their mechanical environment?; Working Group 2: How do cells adapt to and change their mechanical environment?; Working Group 3: How do cells remember their mechanical environment?