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Carolyn M. Wetzel

Assistant Professor

email Send E–mail office Office: Ford Hall 111 phone Phone: 585–3687

Carolyn M. Wetzel earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Research Interests

Plastids are amazing plant cellular organelles that can exist in several different forms. The most commonly known and visible plastid type is the chloroplast characterized by its green color due to accumulation of chlorophyll. Chloroplasts carry out many different essential biochemical processes, including photosynthesis, fatty acid synthesis, sulfur and nitrogen assimilation and hormone synthesis, among others. The next most commonly seen plastids are chromoplasts (red, yellow, orange types found in fruit and autumn leaves) and amyloplasts (the starchy plastids in potatoes, for example). Plastids are dynamic and can convert between types when given the correct developmental signals. The research in my lab is to examine the role of certain proteins in the function and development of plastids. We are especially interested in the interaction between light and plastid dynamics. We make use of model plant systems (Arabidopsis thaliana, Arabidopsis and Lycopersicon esculentum, tomato) and iridescent ferns. We use molecular genetic, physiological, and biochemical approaches in our research

Representative publications

Wetzel, C. M., L. D. Harmacek, L. H. Yuan, J. L. M. Wopereis, R. Chubb, and P. Turini. 2009. "Loss of chloroplast protease SPPA function alters high light acclimation processes in Arabidopsis thaliana L. (Heynh.)." Journal of Experimental Botany 60: 1715–27.

Bruno, A. K., and C. M. Wetzel. 2004. "The early light inducible protein (ELIP) gene is expressed during the chloroplast-to-chromoplast transition in ripening tomato fruit." Journal of Experimental Botany 55: 2541–48.

Zheng, P., C. Wetzel, K. Ammar, A-M. Girard, et al. 2002. "Test of an in vivo method to detect chloroplast division in crop plants. Part II: Verification of the phenomenon by germplasm methods and confocal microscopy." Spectroscopy 17 (9): 14–18.

Zheng, Ping, C. Wetzel, K. Ammar, A-M. Girard, et al. 2002. "Test of an in vivo method to detect chloroplast division in crop plants. Part I: Discovery of the phenomenon." Spectroscopy 17(4): 16–25.

Wu, D., Wright, C. Wetzel, et al. 1999. "The IMMUTANS variegation locus of Arabidopsis defines a mitochondrial alternative oxidase homolog that functions during early chloroplast biogenesis." Plant Cell 11: 43–56.

Wetzel, C. M., and S. R. Rodermel. 1998. "Regulation of phytoene desaturase expression in A. thaliana is independent of leaf pigment content." Plant Molecular Biology 37: 1045–53.

Wetzel, C. M., C.-. Z. Jiang, L. Meehan, et al. 1994. "Nuclear-organelle interactions: The immutans variegation mutant of A. thaliana is plastid autonomous and impaired in carotenoid biosynthesis. The Plant Journal 6: 161–75.