Office: Biology 446
Phone: (970) 491-4991
- Ph.D., Utrecht University, The Netherlands
In the Pilon-Smits lab we do multidisciplinary research that ranges from cells to whole plants to ecosystems. An important common denominator is selenium (Se): an essential element with anticarcinogenic and antiviral properties, but also a toxin and environmental pollutant. We study plant Se tolerance and accumulation using genetic/genomic tools and biotechnology and biochemistry. At the same time, we are very interested in ecological and evolutionary aspects of Se hyperaccumulation: the capacity of certain species to accumulate Se up to 1% of dry weight. Our findings indicate that Se hyperaccumulation has evolved as a protection from biotic stresses. A better understanding of plant Se metabolism and hyperaccumulation may ultimately lead to the development of pathogen- and pest-resistant, anticarcinogenic, Se-fortified crops, and plants with superior properties for the phytoremediation of Se-polluted soils and waters. Plant species we use in our research are the hyperaccumulator Stanleya pinnata, non-hyperaccumulator relatives Stanleya elata, Brassica juncea and Arabidopsis thaliana, and, recently, Cannabis sativa (hemp).
Selenium Biofortification Differentially Affects Sulfur Metabolism and Accumulation of Phytochemicals in Two Rocket Species (Eruca Sativa Mill. and Diplotaxis Tenuifolia) Grown in Hydroponics PLANTS-BASEL, 3, 2019.
Understanding selenium metabolism in plants and its role as a beneficial element CRITICAL REVIEWS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 2019.
Misunderstood Patagonia film 15 min online, 2019.
Comparison of ATP sulfurylase 2 from selenium hyperaccumulator Stanleya pinnata and non-accumulator Stanleya elata reveals differential intracellular localization and enzyme activity levels BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-GENERAL SUBJECTS, 11, 2018.
Fungal Endophyte Alternaria tenuissima Can Affect Growth and Selenium Accumulation in Its Hyperaccumulator Host Astragalus bisulcatus FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 2018.
Influence of sulfate supply on selenium uptake dynamics and expression of sulfate/selenate transporters in selenium hyperaccumulator and nonhyperaccumulator Brassicaceae NEW PHYTOLOGIST, 1, 2018.
Mechanisms of selenium hyperaccumulation in plants: A survey of molecular, biochemical and ecological cues BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-GENERAL SUBJECTS, 11, 2018.
Plant selenium hyperaccumulation-Ecological effects and potential implications for selenium cycling and community structure BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-GENERAL SUBJECTS, 11, 2018.
Transcriptome-wide comparison of selenium hyperaccumulator and nonaccumulator Stanleya species provides new insight into key processes mediating the hyperaccumulation syndrome PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, 9, 2018.
Selenium species influence Se uptake, translocation and biofortification in common buckwheat and tartary buckwheat Frontiers in Plant Science, 2018.