Professor Lloyd is interested in plant development and cell-fate determination. His lab works at the molecular genetic, biochemical, and whole plant levels to study epidermal cell-fate determination and differentiation. They study genes involved in this process in vitro and in vivo to try to determine which genes are regulators in this process and how they interact with each other in the plant and at the protein-protein level and how they mediate cell-fate decision processes that lead to whole plant organization. The lab's work has shown that a combinatorial transcriptional complex of three different protein types control several epidermal pathways in plants. These proteins are encoded by small gene families and the family members have partially redundant and partially diverged roles in plant development. Physical interactions between these complex members and between the complex and target DNA sequences have been demonstrated. This work points to obvious combinatory regulation and regulatory complex formation. One of their new directions will be to begin studies on transcriptional targets of this complex, several of which are transcription factors themselves.
He is also interested in plant genomics, natural variation, and plant secondary metabolism. They have just begun a new study of the betalain secondary pigment pathway that occurs only in plants in one order, the Caryophyllales, containing plants such as beets and cactus.
Affiliated Research Units
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