J. LYNN ZIMMERMAN
Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives
Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1979
Postdoctoral, Harvard University
FAX (410) 455-3875; Voice (410) 455-3486
The primary research focus
of my laboratory is understanding and manipulating stress tolerance in
higher plants using carrot cells and embryos as a model system. Using
the tools of biotechnology, we have created carrot cells and plants that
both over-express and under-express heat shock genes, and have shown that
these cells are more thermotolerant and less thermotolerant, respectively,
than control cells. Collaborative experiments have also shown that we
can use the gene constructs we have made to transfer enhanced thermotolerance
to other dicot plant species.
We are currently investigating
the molecular basis for this change in thermotolerance in the genetically
engineered cells and plants by determining where the protein corresponding
to the transgene is localized in the cell, what it is associating with
inside the cell and how these factors change before and after heat stress.
We are also evaluating if this technology can be extended to other important
In addition, we continue our
interest in the consequence of heat stress to plant embryo and seed development.
It has long been recognized that seed crop yield is significantly reduced
by exposure of the plant to high temperature at the time of early embryo
development. We are investigating the molecular basis for this disruption
in development by studying the impact of heat shock on the transcription
and translation of genes associated with plant embryogenesis.
Apuya, N.R., Yodegari, R.,
Fischer, R.L., Harada, J.J., Zimmerman, J.L. and Goldberg, R.B. (2001).
The Arabidopsis embryo mutant schlepperless has a defect
in the Chaperonin-60
gene. Plant Physiol. 126: 717-730.
Malik, M.K., Slovin, J.P.,
Hwang, C-H. and Zimmerman, J.L. (1999). Modified expression of a carrot
small heat shock protein gene, Hsp17.7, results in increased or decreased
thermotolerance. The Plant Journal, 20: 89-100.
Zimmerman, J.L., Slovin, J.P.
and Malik, M.K. (1999). Patent # 5,922,929, "Thermotolerance Enhancing
Protein. United States Patent Office.
Lin, X.L. and Zimmerman, J.L.
(1999). Expression of a globulin-like protein gene, Gea8, in somatic and
zygotic embryos. J. Experimental Botany, 50:1139-1147.
Lin, X.L., Hwang, G.-J., and
Zimmerman, J.L. (1996). Isolation and characterization of a diverse set
of genes from carrot somatic embryos. Plant Physiology 112:1365-1374.