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Biological Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences

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Aruna  Kilaru 

Associate Professor
423-439-6931 /
Brown Hall, Room 427

Research Interest:

My group focuses on understanding lipid synthesis and signaling at biochemical, cellular, physiological and molecular level. Specifically, our research aims to elucidate 1) lipid-mediated stress response pathways in plants and 2) the regulation of oil biosynthesis in nonseed tissues. A wide range of tools from scanning electron microscopy to "omic" approaches are utilized to address our research questions. Our focus on understanding the central aspects of plant lipid synthesis and signaling has an inherent long-term goal to develop crops that are stress tolerant and with improved oil and energy content and overall yield. For more information, please visit our laboratory webpage. Graduate and undergraduate students interested in research in the areas of plant biochemistry and molecular biology are highly encouraged to contact me by email. Dr. Kilaru's Laboratory Webpage

Selected Publications:

Rahman MMd, Divi U*, Liu Q, Zhou X-R, Singh S and Kilaru A** (2016) Oil-rich nonseed tissues offer insights for enhanced bioenergy. CAB Reviews 11: 1-1132 (* co-first author; **corresponding author)

Kilaru A**, Cao X, Dabbs PB, Sung H, Rahman MMd, Thrower N, Zynda G, Podicheti R, Ibarra-Laclette E, Herrera-Estrella L, Mockaitis K, and Ohlrogge JB (2015) Oil biosynthesis in a basal angiosperm: Transcriptome analysis of Persea americana mesocarp. BMC Plant Biology 15: 203 (**corresponding author)

Kilaru A**, Tamura P*, Isaac G, Welti R, Venables BJ, Seier E, and Chapman KD (2012) Lipidomic analysis of N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine molecular species in Arabidopsis suggests feedback regulation by N-acylethanolamines. Planta 236: 809-824 32 (* co-first author; **corresponding author)

Troncoso-Ponce M, Kilaru A*, Cao X, Durrett TP, Fan J, Jensen J, Thrower N, Pauly M, Wilkerson C and Ohlrogge J (2011) Comparative deep transcriptional profiling of four developing oilseeds. Plant Journal 68: 1014-27 32 (* co-first author)

Bourgis F, Kilaru A*, Cao X, Ngando G, Drira N, Ohlrogge J and Arondel V (2011) Comparative transcriptome and metabolite analysis of oil and date palm mesocarp that differ dramatically in carbon partitioning. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 108:12527-32 (* co-first author)

Kilaru A**, Herrfurth C, Keereetaweep J, Hornung E, Venables BJ, Feussner I and Chapman KD (2011) Lipoxygenase mediated oxidation of polyunsaturated N-acylethanolamines in Arabidopsis Journal of Biological Chemistry 286:15205-14 (**corresponding author)

Kilaru A and Hasenstein KH (2005) Development and pathogenicity of the fungus Crinipellis perniciosa on interaction with cacao leaves. Phytopathology 95: 101-107 (Featured cover)


  • Plant Biology (BIOL3420)
  • Biochemistry of Macromolecules (BIOL4147/5147)
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