The Science Page of Brian Parks
Thanks for visiting!
I am a Faculty Associate in the Department of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin. But, ironically, my training is as a Plant Scientist. I am integrally involved in the Introductory Biology series for undergraduates at UW. My role in this course is both administrative and as a teacher. The challenges associated with bringing material to students in a way that excites them and kindles a fascination for science are always moving in new directions.
As I said earlier, my area of expertise is plant photobiology. For over 25 years, I was involved in basic plant research that focused on how plants utilize light as a signal to direct their growth and development throughout their life cycle. This process is known as Photomorphogenesis. This is different from photosynthesis where light is used in far greater amounts as a source of energy. Plants have evolved a number of photoreceptors for the purpose of monitoring light as a signal. Of these, the one that garnered most of my interest and attention is a class of signaling molecules known as the Phytochromes. If you would like to know more about my past research, please follow the scientific links to the right to learn in more detail what I study in Prof. Spalding's lab.
…Or head to the bottom for something different.
And please feel free to contact me if you have further questions not answered here.
Parks BM, Folta KM, Spalding EP (2001) Photocontrol of stem growth. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 4: 436-440.
Parks BM, Hoecker U, Spalding EP (2001) Light-induced growth promotion by SPA1 counteracts phytochrome-mediated growth inhibition during de-etiolation. Plant Physiol. 126: 1291-1298.
Parks BM, Spalding EP (1999) Sequential and coordinated action of phytochromes A and B during Arabidopsis stem growth revealed by kinetic analysis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 96: 14142-14146.
Parks BM, Cho MH, Spalding EP (1998) Two genetically separable phases of growth inhibition induced by blue light in Arabidopsis seedlings. Plant Physiol. 118: 609-615.
Parks BM, Quail PH, Hangarter RP (1996) Phytochrome A regulates red-light induction of phototropic enhancement in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 110: 155-162.
Parks BM, Quail PH (1993) hy8, a new class of arabidopsis long hypocotyl mutants deficient in functional phytochrome A. Plant Cell. 5: 39-48.
Parks BM (2003) The red side of photomorphogenesis. Plant Physiol. 133: 1437-1444.
Wang H, Deng XW (2003) Dissecting the phytochrome A-dependent signaling network in higher plants. Trends Plant Sci 8: 172-178
Nagy F, Schäfer E (2002) Phytochromes control photomorphogenesis by differentially regulated, interacting signaling pathways in higher plants. Annu Rev Plant Biol 53: 329-355
Quail PH (2002) Phytochrome photosensory signalling networks. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 3: 85-93
Smith H (2000) Phytochromes and light signal perception by plants--an emerging synthesis. Nature. 407: 585-591.
Briggs WR, Huala E (1999) Blue-light photoreceptors in higher plants. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 15: 33-62.
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