Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Ronald, Pamela C.
Location University of California, Davis
Primary Field Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
Secondary Field Plant Biology
 Election Citation
Ronald and colleagues isolated the XA21 and Submergence Tolerance 1A genes, enhancing the resilience of rice crops grown by millions of small-scale farmers enabling plants and animals detect and respond to infection. ~
 Research Interests
Pamela Ronald's laboratory investigates the plant response to environmental stress and microbial infection and has contributed to the establishment of rice 'Kitaake' as a model system for biological studies. In 1995, her laboratory discovered a new and important class of immune receptors, represented by the rice XA21 receptor kinase, and also later identified the XA21 ligand, which is a sulfated, processed and secreted bacterial immunogen. These discoveries continue to have implications for studies of infectious disease of both plants and animals. She is also known for her leading role in isolation of the rice Submergence Tolerance locus that confers tolerance to two weeks of complete submergence. Ronald's team further discovered and demonstrated that one of the genes at this locus, designated Sub1A, is upregulated rapidly in response to submergence and that expression of Sub1A is sufficient to confer robust tolerance to submergence in transgenic plants. These studies facilitated the development of Sub1 rice varieties by breeders at the International Rice Research Institute. Sub1 varieties are now grown by millions of subsistence farmers in India and Bangladesh, providing a greater than 60% yield advantage. Ronald is recognized for her efforts to communicate the importance and relevance of scientific research to food security and sustainable agriculture.

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