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Michelle Facette

Assistant Professor

Research areas include cell biology and development studying the form and function of grass stomata. The majority of our calorie-rich grain crops are grasses, which have unique stomatal morphology and function compared to other plants. Stomata, small pores in the leaf that open and close, are important for gas exchange and are key determinants in plant productivity and water use efficiency. We study the unique cell divisions that form grass stomata, and the unique features of mature grass stomata that make them function efficiently.

Current Research

To better understand how grass stomata are formed, we study the cell divisions that create stomata. Proteins important for the creation of grass stomata we study include receptor-like proteins and proteins that regulate the plant cytoskeleton.

To understand how grass stomata function, we are exploiting observed variations in corn stomatal form (shape and density) and function (rates of opening and closing) to determine what features may contribute to gas exchange. We are furnther investigating how differences in stomatal function may affect plant productiviy and water use efficiency. We are using molecular tools to try and understand what genes and proteins are unique to grass stomata, and how they affect grass stomata function.

Learn more at http://facettelab.weebly.com/

Academic Background

  • Post-doc - University of California, San Diego

  • Ph.D. - Stanford University

 
Contact Info

Department of Biology
375D Morrill Science Center 4S
611 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

Office: (413)-575-9701
Email: mfacette@umass.edu
Web: http://facettelab.weebly.com/