Elucidating how environmental change can alter RNA, epigenetic and metabolic processes to promote cross-acclimation to plant stresses.
The forces imposed by mechanical stimulation (MS) such as touch, strong winds and heavy rains are natural ubiquitous stressful stimuli perceived by plants. Repetitive MS of plants activates molecular and physiological processes that alter plant anatomy and morphology to facilitate acclimation to environmental stresses; a process called thigmomorphogenesis. These architectural changes due to repetitive MS are influenced by secondary messenger molecules, gene expression and phytohormone regulation.
MS primes pathogen and insect defense across a generation, and promote cross-acclimation to drought, salinity and extreme temperature change. Through epigenetic memory formation processes, organisms can remember prolonged changes in the environment and confer some stress memory to the next generation without affecting their DNA coding sequence. My research objectives are to investigate (1) the molecular mechanisms underlying how epigenetic processes such as histone modification, DNA methylation and RNA gene silencing regulate responses to MS, prime plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and (2) to investigate how/ if MS induced responses are transgenerational.
Research gate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eric_Brenya (opens in a new window)
Dr. Christopher Cazzonelli, Prof. David Tissue, Dr. Zhonghua Chen
Brenya E, Trusov Y, Dietzgen RG, Botella JR, (2016) 'Heterotrimeric G-proteins facilitate resistance to plant pathogenic viruses in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh', Plant Signaling & Behavior, vol.11, no.8, e1212798
Maruta N, Trusov Y, Brenya E, Parekh U, Botella JR, (2015) 'Membrane-localized extra-large G-proteins and Gβγ of the heterotrimeric G-proteins forms functional complexes engaged in plant immunity in Arabidopsis', Plant Physiology, vol.167, pp 1004–1016
Oppong-Sekyere D, Akromah R, Nyamah EY, Brenya E, Yeboah S, (2011) 'Characterization of okra (Abelmoschus spp. L.) germplasm based on morphological characters in Ghana', Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science, vol.3, no.13, pp 367-378
Nyadanu D, Adomako B, Assuah MK, Asiamah YO, Brenya E, Adu-Ampomah Y, (2011) 'Analysis of Reaction to Phytophthora palmivora Infection among the International Clone Trial Selections of Cocoa in Ghana', International Journal of Plant Breeding and Genetics, vol.5, no.4, pp 286-301