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Dr. Michael V. Kolomiets

Kolomiets, Dr. Michael V.
Dr. Michael V. Kolomiets
Professor, Molecular Biology of Plant Defense Responses
321C LF Peterson
Graduate Education
Ph.D., Horticulture (1998), Iowa State University
Courses Taught
PLPA 617: Principles and Concepts of Plant Pathogenesis (4 hours with lab). Critical review of the most current literature on molecular and biochemical mechanisms of plant responses to pathogen invasion; overview of disease resistance genes, major classes of defense-related proteins, phytoalexins and antibacterial secondary metabolites and signal-transduction pathways such as those mediated by salicylic acid-, ethylene- and lipid-derived compounds. Laboratory exercises include cloning of resistance and defense-related genes by reverse and forward genetics approaches (genomic and plasmid DNA extraction, RNA extraction, Southern and Northern blotting, PCR amplification, PCR product cloning, co-segregation analysis).
PLPA 301: Will focus on the nature of disease causing agents, the outcomes of theinteraction between plants and pathogens, and the methods we use to control the diseases. The course will conclude with a review of specific subdisciplines, such as epidemiology, the genetics of plant disease, physiological aspects of the disease process, and recent advances in biotechnolgy for better understanding and controlling plant diseses. The course is designed to parallel the information being covered in PLPA 303/Plant Patholgy Laboratory. The content of PLPA 303 will help in understanding the principles in PLPA 301 by allowing you to directly examine and manipulate plant pathogens as well as diseased symptomatic plants. This experiential perspective is essential to a thorough understanding of plant pathology.

Research Emphasis

Functional genomics of maize oxylipin pathways

The focus of research interests of my laboratory is to investigate genes and metabolites of lipid-based biochemical and signal transduction pathways and the role they play in plant development and survival in response to pathogens. Key regulatory components of these pathways are lipases, lipoxygenases (LOX), 12-oxo-phytodienoate reductases (OPR). One of the greatest scientific challenges that we face currently in this field is to understand the physiological function of individual genes and isozymes, pathways they initiate and their metabolites. Although we are interested in most aspects of these pathways, our current emphasis is to elucidate functions of individual members of the multigene families of LOXs and OPRs in corn. Using genomics tools we have identified and cloned all members of maize LOX gene family. RNA profiling and other expression data strongly suggest their involvement in disease resistance mechanisms. By using reverse genetics strategy, a project is underway to identify maize mutants in which function of all LOX genes is interrupted by insertions of Mutator transposable elements. To assess function of these genes in defense-responses these mutants will undergo vigorous disease resistance screening, oxylipin profiling via HPLC, GC-MS and other biochemical techniques. The most harmful corn diseases worldwide are those caused by pathogens Fusarium verticillioides and Aspergillus flavus, that produce mycotoxins that are extremely harmful to humans and animals. Therefore, these and other corn diseases are the primary targets of our research program.


Recent Publications

De La Fuente GN, Murray SC, Isakeit T, Park Y-S, Yan Y, Warburton ML, Kolomiets MV (2013) Characterization of Genetic Diversity and Linkage Disequilibrium of ZmLOX4 and ZmLOX5 Loci in Maize. PLOS ONE 8(1): e53973. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053973

Yan Y, Borrego E, Kolomiets MV (2013) Jasmonate Biosynthesis, Perception and Function in Plant Development and Stress Responses. Book Chapter in Lipid Metabolism. Publisher, Intech. http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/52675.

Borrego E, Kolomiets MV (2012) Lipid-Mediated Signaling Between Fungi and Plants. Book chapter. Ed. G. Witzany. Biocommunication of Fungi. Publisher, Springer: 249-260

Christensen S, Borrego E, Shim WB, Isakeit T, Kolomiets M. (2011) Quantification of fungal colonization, sporogenesis, and production of mycotoxins using kernel bioassays. J. Vis. Exp., e3727, DOI : 10.3791/3727. (watch video)

Yan Y, Christensen S, Isakeit T, Engelberth J, Meeley R, , Hayward, Emery N, Kolomiets M (2012) Disruption of OPR7 and OPR8 Reveals the Versatile Functions of JA in Maize Development and Defense. Plant Cell 24: 1420–1436

Christensen S, Kolomiets M (2011) The lipid language of plant-fungal interactions. Fungal Genetics and Biology. 48:4-14

Mukherjee M, Kim J-E, Park J-S, Kolomiets MV, Shim W-B. (2011) Regulators of G-protein signaling in Fusarium verticillioides mediate differential host-pathogen responses on nonviable versus viable maize kernels. Mol Plant Pathology 12: 479–491

Park Y-S,  Kunze S, Ni X, ·Feussner I, Kolomiets MV. (2010) Comparative molecular and biochemical characterization of segmentally duplicated 9-lipoxygenase genes ZmLOX4 and ZmLOX5 of maize. Planta. 231:1425–1437

Gao X, Brodhagen M, Isakeit T, Horowitz-Brown S, Gobel C, Betran J, Feussner I, Keller N, Kolomiets M (2009) Inactivation of the lipoxygenase ZmLOX3 increases susceptibility of maize to Aspergillus spp. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions 22: 222-231.

Gao X, Stumpe M, Feussner I, Kolomiets M (2008). A novel plastidial lipoxygenase of maize (Zea mays) ZmLOX6 encodes for a fatty acid hydroperoxide lyase and is uniquely regulated by phytohormones and pathogen infection. Planta 227: 491-503.

Gao X, Starr J, Gobel C, Engelberth J, Feussner I, Tumlinson J, Kolomiets M (2008) Maize 9-lipoxygenase ZmLOX3 controls development, root-specific expression of defense genes and resistance to root-knot nematodes. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions 21: 98-109.

Djonovic S, Vargas WA, Kolomiets M, Horndeski M, Wiest A, Kenerley C (2007) A proteinaceous elicitor Sm1 from the beneficial fungus Trichoderma virens is required for induced systemic resistance in maize. Plant Physiology 145: 875-889.

Isakeit T, Gao X, Kolomiets M (2007). Increased resistance of a maize mutant lacking the 9-lipoxigenase gene, ZmLOX3, to root rot caused by Exserohilum pedicellatum. Journal of Phytopathology 155: 758-760.