The Timko Laboratory


Welcome to the Timko laboratory. Our work explores the relationship between the genomic content of vascular plants and their capacity to grow, differentiate, and respond to an environment replete with a large variety of biotic and abiotic challenges and stresses. Our studies rely on an integrative approach that uses biochemistry, genome sequence information, bioinformatics, and gene expression profiling to uncover basic information about plant cellular function and development.

The main areas of research currently underway in the laboratory include the functional genomics of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) an important African legume. In these studies we are using genomic wide sequence data for molecular marker development and microarray analysis to examine global gene expressionas strategies for the genetic improvement of cowpea. We also study the molecular genetics of host plant and non-host plant resistance to parasitism by the root hemiparasite Striga gesnerioides and its relatives. These studies include an examination of the evolution of parasitism in the Orobanchaceae (Striga, Orobanche, and Tryphysaria) as a way of determining what makes a parasitic angiosperm unique. Finally, we are studying the transcription regulation of alkaloid biosynthesis in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) where we are interested in defining the cross-talk between various signal transduction pathways that regulate these secondary compounds during development and as part of natural defense pathways to insect and herbivore attack.

The laboratory also has a number of ongoing collaborative projects with faculty in the University of Virginia School of Medicine were we apply our knowledge of plant and human biology for the production of novel human therapeutics and nutraceuticals.

Notice: This Website was designed and is maintained by Joanne Lane. Copyright (c) 2009 The Timko Laboratory at the University of Virginia. Contents may not be copied and/or published electronically or in print without prior written consent. All rights reserved.