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Anna Stepanova

Associate Professor


Thomas Hall 2501A


Area(s) of Expertise

Plant Molecular Genetics

Unlike mobile animals, sessile plants spend their lives in a fixed place and, being unable to move away, have to endure and withstand harsh conditions of their environment. To cope with this challenge, plants have learned to adapt to their surroundings by modifying their metabolic activity, growth rates and patterns. Our earlier work has focused on the elucidation of the role of two key plant hormones, auxin and ethylene, in the phenotypic plasticity of root growth and has uncovered a previously unknown ethylene-mediated regulation of auxin biosynthesis. Adequate levels of auxin production, perception, signaling, and response were found to be required for the ethylene-triggered morphological changes. Current efforts of the lab continue to center around plant hormones, specifically the mechanisms of ethylene signal transduction, auxin biosynthesis, hormone pathways’ crosstalk, and translational regulation of hormone responses.  We are employing a combination of classical and molecular genetics, cell biology, genomics, and synthetic biology in Arabidopsis and tomato to decipher the basic molecular mechanisms governing plant adaptation and phenotypic plasticity.


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Ph.D., Biology, University of Pennsylvania (2001)
B.S., Biology, University of Nevada (1995)