Alexander J. Cummins: Plant Physiology First Author

Alexander J. Cummins, first author of “A cryptic natural variant allele of BYPASS2 suppresses the bypass1 mutant phenotype”

Current Position: Ph.D. Student in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah

Education: B.S. in Biology from California State University San Bernardino

Non-scientific interests: Reading, cooking, spending time with family

Brief Bio: During my undergraduate degree, I became very interested in understanding how plants respond and adapt to changes in their local environment. For this reason, I joined the lab of Dr. Leslie Sieburth at the University of Utah. Our research focuses on a novel signaling pathway discovered in the Arabidopsis mutant bypass1.  This pathway uses a metabolite-derived signaling molecule which we call dalekin.  Dalekin is synthesized in roots, is mobile in plants and it activates processes in both roots and shoots.  We use a combination of genetics, molecular biology, multi-omics, and physiological approaches to understand dalekin’s biosynthetic pathway and the signal transduction pathway used to activate down-stream responses.  A key future goal is to understand the roles dalekin plays in plants.