Steven Matzner, Ph.D.
- Associate Professor, Biology
- Augustana University
- Postdoctoral Associate, Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
- Ph.D., Ecology, University of California, Davis
- B.A., Biology, Augustana College
Current Research: Epigenetic regulation refers to modifications to the chromatin or DNA that can affect which genes are expressed. Epigenetic regulation has recently emerged as an additional layer of regulation acting at the interface between the genotype and the environment, creating phenotypes sensitive to environmental inputs. The overall goal of this research is to look at epigenetic regulation in known water-related genes and determine if water stress induced epigenetic alterations occur for these genes in tomato. Specifically, we have use the recently completed tomato genome sequence to identify genes that are likely to be under epigenetic control and are known to have an impact on wate use efficiency. Initially, we are looking to see if DNA methylation patterns are correlated with gene regulation changes in response to drought. Ultimately we will be looking at additional epigenetic mechanisms. With the threat of global warming and projections of higher drought frequency coupled with greater urban, recreational, and environmental demands on water resources; our need to understand how plants respond to their hydraulic environment has dramatically increased.
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