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Pullman, WA, United States

Washington State University is a public research university based in Pullman, Washington, in the Palouse region of the northwest United States.Founded 125 years ago in 1890, WSU is the state's only land-grant university. The university is well known for its programs in chemical engineering, veterinary medicine, agriculture, animal science, food science, plant science, architecture, neuroscience and communications. It is one of 96 public and private universities in America with "very high research activity," as determined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With an undergraduate enrollment of 25,092 and a total student enrollment of 27,642, it is the second largest institution of higher education in Washington state.The university also operates campuses across Washington known as WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, and WSU Vancouver, all founded in 1989. In 2012, WSU launched an Internet-based Global Campus, which includes its online degree program, WSU Online. These campuses award primarily bachelor's and master's degrees. Freshmen and sophomores were first admitted to the Vancouver campus in 2006 and to the Tri-Cities campus in 2007. Total enrollment for the four campuses and WSU Online exceeds 25,900 students. In 2009, this included a record 1,447 international students, the highest since 1994 when there were 1,442.WSU's athletic teams are called the Cougars and the school colors are crimson and gray. The six men's and nine women's varsity teams compete in NCAA Division I in the Pacific-12 Conference. Wikipedia.

Tegeder M.,Washington State University
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2014

In most plant species, amino acids are the predominant chemical forms in which nitrogen is transported. However, in nodulated tropical or subtropical legumes, ureides are the main nitrogen transport compounds. This review describes the partitioning of amino acids and ureides within the plant, and follows their movement from the location of synthesis (source) to the sites of usage (sink). Xylem and phloem connect source and sink organs and serve as routes for long-distance transport of the organic nitrogen. Loading and unloading of these transport pathways might require movement of amino acids and ureides across cell membranes, a task that is mediated by membrane proteins (i.e. transporters) functioning as export or import systems. The current knowledge on amino acid and ureide transporters involved in long-distance transport of nitrogen is provided and their importance for source and sink physiology discussed. The review concludes by exploring possibilities for genetic manipulation of organic nitrogen transporter activities to confer increases in crop productivity. © 2013 The Author. Source

Tegeder M.,Washington State University
Current Opinion in Plant Biology | Year: 2012

Membrane proteins are essential to move amino acids in or out of plant cells as well as between organelles. While many putative amino acid transporters have been identified, function in nitrogen movement in plants has only been shown for a few proteins. Those studies demonstrate that import systems are fundamental in partitioning of amino acids at cellular and whole plant level. Physiological data further suggest that amino acid transporters are key-regulators in plant metabolism and that their activities affect growth and development. By contrast, knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of cellular export processes as well as on intracellular transport of amino acids is scarce. Similarly, little is known about the regulation of amino acid transporter function and involvement of the transporters in amino acid signaling. Future studies need to identify the missing components to elucidate the importance of amino acid transport processes for whole plant physiology and productivity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Kirchhoff H.,Washington State University
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics | Year: 2014

The survival and fitness of photosynthetic organisms is critically dependent on the flexible response of the photosynthetic machinery, harbored in thylakoid membranes, to environmental changes. A central element of this flexibility is the lateral diffusion of membrane components along the membrane plane. As demonstrated, almost all functions of photosynthetic energy conversion are dependent on lateral diffusion. The mobility of both small molecules (plastoquinone, xanthophylls) as well as large protein supercomplexes is very sensitive to changes in structural boundary conditions. Knowledge about the design principles that govern the mobility of photosynthetic membrane components is essential to understand the dynamic response of the photosynthetic machinery. This review summarizes our knowledge about the factors that control diffusion in thylakoid membranes and bridges structural membrane alterations to changes in mobility and function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Dynamic and ultrastructure of bioenergetic membranes and their components. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Skinner M.K.,Washington State University
BMC Medicine | Year: 2014

Previous studies have shown a wide variety of environmental toxicants and abnormal nutrition can promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. More recently a number of studies have indicated environmental stress can also promote epigenetic alterations that are transmitted to subsequent generations to induce pathologies. A recent study by Yao and colleagues demonstrated gestational exposure to restraint stress and forced swimming promoted preterm birth risk and adverse newborn outcomes generationally. This ancestral stress promoted the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of abnormalities in the great-grand offspring of the exposed gestating female. Several studies now support the role of environmental stress in promoting the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. Observations suggest ancestral environmental stress may be a component of disease etiology in the current population.Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/s12916-014-0121-6.pdf. © 2014 Skinner; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Wen S.,Washington State University
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

Wheat supplies about 20% of the total food calories consumed worldwide and is a national staple in many countries. Besides being a key source of plant proteins, it is also a major cause of many diet-induced health issues, especially celiac disease. The only effective treatment for this disease is a total gluten-free diet. The present report describes an effort to develop a natural dietary therapy for this disorder by transcriptional suppression of wheat DEMETER (DME) homeologs using RNA interference. DME encodes a 5-methylcytosine DNA glycosylase responsible for transcriptional derepression of gliadins and low-molecular-weight glutenins (LMWgs) by active demethylation of their promoters in the wheat endosperm. Previous research has demonstrated these proteins to be the major source of immunogenic epitopes. In this research, barley and wheat DME genes were cloned and localized on the syntenous chromosomes. Nucleotide diversity among DME homeologs was studied and used for their virtual transcript profiling. Functional conservation of DME enzyme was confirmed by comparing the motif and domain structure within and across the plant kingdom. Presence and absence of CpG islands in prolamin gene sequences was studied as a hallmark of hypo- and hypermethylation, respectively. Finally the epigenetic influence of DME silencing on accumulation of LMWgs and gliadins was studied using 20 transformants expressing hairpin RNA in their endosperm. These transformants showed up to 85.6% suppression in DME transcript abundance and up to 76.4% reduction in the amount of immunogenic prolamins, demonstrating the possibility of developing wheat varieties compatible for the celiac patients. Source

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