Gepstein Shimon , Professor Emeritus

Phone:  (972)-4-8293856

Building/Auditory:  Biology 402

Research Interests

Hormonal control of plant development

Molecular basis of plant hormone action

Aging and plant senescence

Plant biotechnology-gene manipulation for designing improved crop plants

Research in our laboratory is concerned with the regulation of developmental programs from seed germination to leaf senescence and fruit ripening. Developmental stages are characterized by expression of series of stage specific genes .Leaf senescence is the last developmental stage preceding death .After harvest ,accelerated aging also occurs in the excised organs. Similar to other developmental programs, leaf senescence involves expression of specific senescence genes.

Indirect evidence has supported the proposal that a molecular "switch" makes leaves self destruct through an active breakdown of their cellular structures and molecular components. By comparison analysis between populations of gene products from aging and mature leaves we have succeeded to identify several senescence associated genes. Most of the isolated genes are involved in the catabolic pathways that dictate the characteristic breakdown processes of leaf senescence.