venus flytrap

Dr. Imara Perera-Research Associate Professor
Plant Stress Responses

Research Interests:
The overall goal of my research is to understand how plants sense and respond to environmental cues and stimuli. In particular, the research is focused on the role of the phosphoinositide-mediated signaling pathway in plant responses to abiotic and biotic stresses including gravity, drought, cold, and pathogen attack. We have taken a molecular approach to generate plants with altered phosphoinositide metabolism. These plants are a good model system to study the involvement of the phosphoinositide pathway in a stress response and to determine the downstream effectors of the pathway.

Selected Publications:

Salinas-Mondragon RE, Kajla JD, Perera IY, Brown CS and HW Sederoff (2010) Role of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate signaling in gravitropic and phototropic gene expression. Plant cell Envrion 33: 2041-55

Khodakovskaya M, Sword C, Wu Q, Perera IY, Boss WF, Brown CS and H Winter Sederoff (2010).  Increasing inositol (1, 4, 5)-trisphosphate metabolism affects drought tolerance, carbohydrate metabolism, and phosphate-sensitive biomass increases in tomato. Plant Biotechnology Journal 8:170-183

Ma X, Shor O, Diminstein S,  Yu L, Im YJ, Perera IY,  Lomax A,  Boss WF and N Moran (2009) Phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate inhibits K+-efflux channel activity in NT1 tobacco cultured cells. Plant Physiology 149:1127-1140

Perera IY, Hung CY, Moore CD, Stevenson-Paulik JM and WF Boss (2008) Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants Expressing the Type I Inositol 5-phosphatase Exhibit Increased Drought Tolerance and Altered Abscisic Acid Signaling. Plant Cell 20: 2876-2893

Im YJ, Perera IY, Brglez I, Davis AJ, Stevenson-Paulik, JM, Phillippy BQ, Johannes E, Allen NS and WF Boss (2007)  Increasing Plasma Membrane Phosphatidylinositol(4,5)Bisphosphate Biosynthesis Increases Phosphoinositide Metabolism in Nicotiana tabacum. Plant Cell 19: 1603-1616

Im YJ, Davis AJ, Perera IY, Johannes E, Allen NS and WF Boss (2007) The N-terminal membrane occupation and recognition nexus domain of Arabidopsis phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase 1 regulates enzyme activity. J. Biological Chemistry. 282: 5443-5452

Perera IY, Hung CY, Brady S, Muday GK and WF Boss (2006) A universal role for inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-mediated signaling in plant gravitropism. Plant Physiol. 140: 746-760

Perera IY, Davis AJ, Galanopoulou D, Im YJ and WF Boss phosphate kinases.FEBS Lett. 579:3427-32.

Padmanaban S, Lin X, Perera IY, Kawamura Y, and H Sze (2004) Differential expression of Vacuolar H+-ATPase subunit c genes in tissues active in membrane trafficking and their roles in plant growth as revealed by RNAi. Plant Physiol. 134: 1514-1526

Davis AJ, Perera IY and WF BOss (2004) Cyclodextrins enhance recombinant phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase activity. J. Lipid Res 45:1783-1789

Perera IY, Love J, Heilmann I, Thompson WF and WF Boss (2002) Up-regulation of phosphoinositide metabolism in tobacco cells constitutively expressing the human type I inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase Plant Physiol 129:1795-1806

Perera IY, Heilmann I, Chang SC, Boss WF, Kaufman BO (2001) A role for inositol 1,4,5- trisphosphate in gravitropic signaling and the retention of cold-perceived gravistimulation of oat (Avena sativa) shoot pulvini. Plant Physiol 125: 1449-1507

Heilmann I, Shin J, Huang J, Perera IY, Davies E. (2001) Transient dissociation of polyribosomes and concurrent recruitment of calreticulin and calmodulin transcripts in gravistimulated maize pulvini. Plant Physiol 127:1193-203

Heilmann I, Perera IY, Gross W and WF Boss (2001) Plasma membrane phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate levels decrease with time in culture. Plant Physiol 126: 1507-1518