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Queen's University

BIOL 537 2015-16
Dr. S. Regan

Rm:   3422A Bioscience Complex
Tel:   (613) 533-3153
Faculty Web Site:


  1. GENE DISCOVERY IN ARABIDOPSIS- TRICOME DEVELOPMENT Identify new genes responsible for the development of trichomes. Trichomes are hairs on the surface of leaves that provide protection from insects and several abiotic stresses. These cells are also an excellent model system to study the molecular basis of cell shape since the cells are uninhibited by neighbouring cells. We have screened a large population of activation tagged Arabidopsis mutants for alterations in the occurrence and structure of trichomes, and this screen has revealed that there are many unknown genes that are responsible for trichome formation that have not be fully characterized yet. In this project you would fully characterize one of these mutants and using physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology you will uncover the role of this new gene in trichome formation.
  2. GENE DISCOVERY IN POPLAR – BIOREMEDIATION An emerging area of research in my lab is the identification of genes/protein responsible for the uptake of heavy metals. Some plants have the natural ability to uptake and sequester heavy metals and other contaminants and can be used to clean up contaminated soils by a process known as bioremediation. We have screened a population of activation tagged poplar trees and have identified several trees that have improved ability to uptake heavy metals. Your research will involve a combination of molecular, physiological, genetic and biochemical approaches to identify the gene responsible for the improved uptake.
  3. GENE DISCOVERY IN POTATO –LATE BLIGHT RESISTANCE Understand the physiological basis of late blight resistance in potato. Utilizing recently identified mutants that display disease resistance, this project will utilize a wide assortment of physiological and molecular techniques to reveal the mechanism of resistance. Ultimately this research could lead to the detection of new genetic markers for disease resistance for the benefit of potato breeders worldwide. 


Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000