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William Park

Park, William
William Park
BioBio / Room 302A
Undergraduate Education
B.S. University of South Carolina (1973)
Graduate Education
Ph.D. University of Florida (1977)
Postdoc. University of Minnesota (1977-79)
Joined Texas A&M in 1984

Regulation & Evolution of Plant Storage Tissue / Crop Biotechnology

Most of our work in the last few years has focused on manipulating starch biosynthesis in plants. This has led to the identification of a number of specific DNA polymorphisms that have a profound impact on the structure and functional properties of starch granules. Interestingly, the effect of some of these polymorphisms is temperature sensitive. For example, a key G/T polymorphism at the 5’ leader intron splice site of rice granule bound starch synthase has little phenotypic effect at 18 °C, but at 25 °C it activates an alternate splice site that results in a premature open reading frame. At 32 °C, a third nonconsensus TT/GT splice site is activated. This type of temperature sensitivity is one of the key factors responsible for the complex genotype x environment relationships seen in starch structure and represents a good target for manipulation via biotechnology. We have also worked with an industrial partner and a breeder to develop the first commercial rice varieties specifically tailored to work with a new type of processing technology and to identify the genes responsible for optimal raw material/process interactions. Other work in the laboratory is focused on the identification and manipulation of DNA polymorphisms associated with disease resistance and with herbicide resistance in the wild relatives of crop plants.

Recent Publications

  1. Vitalini, MW, de Paula, RM, Park, WD, Bell-Pedersen, D. The rhythms of life: circadian output pathways in Neurospora. J. Biol. Rhythms. 2006;21 (6):432-44.
    doi: 10.1177/0748730406294396. PubMed PMID:17107934. .

  2. Conaway-Bormans, CA, Marchetti, MA, Johnson, CW, McClung, AM, Park, WD. Molecular markers linked to the blast resistance gene Pi-z in rice for use in marker-assisted selection. Theor. Appl. Genet. 2003;107 (6):1014-20.
    doi: 10.1007/s00122-003-1338-5. PubMed PMID:12955204. .

  3. Larkin, PD, Park, WD. Transcript accumulation and utilization of alternate and non-consensus splice sites in rice granule-bound starch synthase are temperature-sensitive and controlled by a single-nucleotide polymorphism. Plant Mol. Biol. 1999;40 (4):719-27.
    doi: 10.1023/a:1006298608408. PubMed PMID:10480395. .

  4. Li, Z, Pinson, SR, Paterson, AH, Park, WD, Stansel, JW. Genetics of hybrid sterility and hybrid breakdown in an intersubspecific rice (Oryza sativa L.) population. Genetics. 1997;145 (4):1139-48.
    . PubMed PMID:9093864. PubMed Central PMC1207882.

  5. Li, Z, Pinson, SR, Park, WD, Paterson, AH, Stansel, JW. Epistasis for three grain yield components in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Genetics. 1997;145 (2):453-65.
    . PubMed PMID:9071598. PubMed Central PMC1207809.

  6. Fu, H, Kim, SY, Park, WD. A potato Sus3 sucrose synthase gene contains a context-dependent 3' element and a leader intron with both positive and negative tissue-specific effects. Plant Cell. 1995;7 (9):1395-403.
    doi: 10.1105/tpc.7.9.1395. PubMed PMID:8589624. PubMed Central PMC160961.

  7. Fu, H, Kim, SY, Park, WD. High-level tuber expression and sucrose inducibility of a potato Sus4 sucrose synthase gene require 5' and 3' flanking sequences and the leader intron. Plant Cell. 1995;7 (9):1387-94.
    doi: 10.1105/tpc.7.9.1387. PubMed PMID:8589623. PubMed Central PMC160959.

  8. Fu, H, Park, WD. Sink- and vascular-associated sucrose synthase functions are encoded by different gene classes in potato. Plant Cell. 1995;7 (9):1369-85.
    doi: 10.1105/tpc.7.9.1369. PubMed PMID:8589622. PubMed Central PMC160958.

  9. Kim, SY, May, GD, Park, WD. Nuclear protein factors binding to a class I patatin promoter region are tuber-specific and sucrose-inducible. Plant Mol. Biol. 1994;26 (2):603-15.
    doi: 10.1007/BF00013747. PubMed PMID:7948916. .

  10. Sadka, A, DeWald, DB, May, GD, Park, WD, Mullet, JE. Phosphate Modulates Transcription of Soybean VspB and Other Sugar-Inducible Genes. Plant Cell. 1994;6 (5):737-749.
    doi: 10.1105/tpc.6.5.737. PubMed PMID:12244255. PubMed Central PMC160472.

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