Robert J. Grebenok

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Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) foliage is known to synthesize and accumulate insect molting hormones, predominantly in the form of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). We previously demonstrated that root 20E accumulation is increased following root damage. We designed two further experiments to address root responses to both mechanical and insect damage. In plants grown(More)
Plant produced insect molting hormones, termed phytoecdysteroids (PEs), are thought to function as plant defenses against insects by acting as either feeding deterrents or through developmental disruption. In spinach (Spinacia oleracea), 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) concentrations in the roots rapidly increase following root damage, root herbivory, or methyl(More)
Some plant defenses are known to be rapidly induced following attack by phytophagous insects. Plant-produced insect molting hormones, termed phytoecdysteroids, are believed to aid plant resistance; however, their dynamics are poorly understood. Using spinach (Spinacia oleracea) as a model system, we examined the inducibility of phytoecdysteroids, primarily(More)
We report the characterization of a higher-plant C-24 sterol methyltransferase by yeast complementation. A Zea mays endosperm expressed sequence tag (EST) was identified which, upon complete sequencing, showed 46% identity to the yeast C-24 methyltransferase gene (ERG6) and 75% and 37% amino acid identity to recently isolated higher-plant sterol(More)
Insect-molting hormones, phytoecdysteroids, have been reported to occur in over 100 plant families. Plants, unlike insects, are capable of the biosynthesis of ecdysteroids from mevalonic acid, and in several cases the biosynthesis of phytoecdysteroids was also demonstrated to proceedvia sterols.Spinacia oleracea (spinach) biosynthesizes polypodine B and(More)
The yeast C-8,7 sterol isomerase contains a polyvalent high-affinity drug binding site similar to mammalian sigma receptors. Exogenously supplied sigma ligands inhibit sterol biosynthesis in yeast, demonstrating a pharmacological relationship between sigma ligand-binding and C-8,7 sterol isomerase activity. We report the isolation of an Arabidopsis thaliana(More)
Using short (8-day) and long-term (28-day) experiments, we examined the stability of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and the dominant phytosterols synthesized from a pulse of [2-14C]mevalonic acid ([14C]MVA) in hydroponically grown spinach (Spinacia oleracea). In the short-term experiment, plant dry mass and shoot 20E pools steadily increased. Root uptake of(More)
Sterols are essential nutrients for insects because, in contrast to mammals, no insect (or arthropod for that matter) can synthesize sterols de novo. Plant-feeding insects typically generate their sterols, commonly cholesterol, by metabolizing phytosterols. However, not all phytosterols are readily converted to cholesterol. In this study we examined, using(More)
All eukaryotes contain sterols, which serve as structural components in cell membranes, and as precursors for important hormones. Plant vegetative tissues are known to contain mixtures of sterols, but very little is known about the sterol composition of phloem. Plants are food for many animals, but plant-feeding arthropods (including phloem-feeding insets)(More)
A series of experiments, using GLC, RP-HPLC, and GC-MS techniques, were performed to examine the metabolic fate and absorption of different dietary sterols in the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. In the first experiment, grasshoppers were reared on diets containing different sterols presented singly. Cholesterol was the dominant tissue sterol recovered(More)