Javier Brumos is a researcher with interdisciplinary training and experience. Born and raised in Valencia, Spain, he is now a postdoc in the Plant and Microbial Biology Department at NC State and aspires to be a professor who mentors students in an academic environment. For fun, he loves to ride his bike, hike, listen to music, and watch documentaries and old series.
What primary instrument(s) are you using for your research and what do you like about it?
The instrument used in my research from the AIF is the Cryo SEM JEOL 7600F. The sample preparation for this instrument is much easier than for former electron microscopy options. We can obtain great detail of plant tissues under evaluation resulting in extremely elegant photographs.
What have you been researching?
Plants exhibit an extraordinary phenotypic plasticity that allows them to thrive in the ever-changing environment despite their sessile nature. Plants achieve this plasticity by integrating all external cues with their own internal growth-and-development programs. Improving our understanding on how this integration process works is critical for agriculture to meet the increasing demand for food, raw materials, and energy in the face of climate change. Plant hormones play a central role in the signal integration process modifying the organism’s internal programs to best respond to the surrounding conditions. The plant hormone, auxin, is a key regulator of plant growth and development. Local production and transport of this hormone act in concert to produce robust auxin gradients that sustain stem cell activity and regulates the generation of the different plant organs, such as roots, leaves, or flowers.
How is your research impacting the community?
My research bridges basic plant molecular biology with applied approaches in crop science. My program focuses on the study of hormonal and gene regulatory networks involved in the plant’s response to the environment, aiming to enable the rational improvement of new, more resilient crop varieties with the help of innovative techniques such as synthetic biology and gene editing approaches. In addition, I really enjoy developing and organizing our outreach program making plant biology fun for kids and teaching them about the scientific method. You can find us the first Saturday of every month from noon until 2pm at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. For more information, visit our website at www.plants4kids.org.
What have you learned from your experience at AIF?
The experiments performed at the AIF indicates that the local production of the plant hormone auxin in the developing flower is essential for the flower fertility and thus for the production of seeds.
Best thing about AIF in 5 words or less?
Convenient with great staff!
Is there a staff member at AIF that has helped you?
Chuanzhen “Elaine” Zhou helped me and my students prepare samples and acquire pictures of Arabidopsis flowers. She is a great asset to the AIF team.