Alan M. Lloyd

  • Professor
  • D. J. Sibley Centennial Professorship in Plant Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Biosciences

Contact Information

Research

The main goal of the Lloyd lab is to understand developmental mechanisms and pigment pathways in plants. The control of cell fate decisions is a central issue during plant development and pattern formation. The lab's main focus is to use trichome (epidermal plant hair) initiation as a simple and amenable model to study the control of plant cell fate decision events. Over the years, Lloyd and his team have identified a combinatorial transcriptional complex that regulates trichome initiation and patterning. The lab is studying how this complex functions by manipulating the complex members and by investigating many of the complex's transcriptional targets. This complex also has pleiotropic control of the common red/purple anthocyanin pigment pathway in Arabidopsis and most other flowering plants. Researchers in the lab have studied how the complex regulates these pigments and begun work on a red pigment pathway, the betalains, that are narrowly restricted to a single order of flowering plants that include beets, cactus and other taxa. The betalain pathway is much simpler than the anthocyanin pathway and has the potential to be used as a color and fluorescent marker in heterologous systems, fungi, animals and others.

Fields of Interest

  • Plant Biology

Centers and Institutes

  • Texas Institute for Discovery Education In Science

Publications