Areas of Expertise
Plant genetics, molecular biology, genomics and biotechnology.
Research/Professional Background Highlights
I am interested in using molecular genetic tools using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to understand molecular and biochemical processes such as how organisms interact with plants. Currently, I am investigating compounds called phytotoxins that interfere with a plant’s ability to germinate. Organisms that either compete with plants for resources or that are plant pathogens produce phytotoxins as a means to interfere with necessary functions of plants. In many instances, plants, in turn, have evolved the ability to detect phytotoxins in order to mount a defense response. By studying how phytotoxins affect Arabidopsis, we can learn about the toxicity of these compounds, and also learn about the interaction of plants with their competitors and pathogens.
Courses Offered at Redlands
- Issues and Techniques in Genetic Engineering (Biol 103)
- Concepts of Biology (Biol 107)
- Molecular Genetics and Heredity (Biol 239)
- Statistical Methods in Biology (Biol 330)
- Bioinformatics (Biol 342)
- Research Topics in Biology (Biol 460)
- Interdisciplinary Research in Biology and Chemistry (Blcm 460)
Associate Professor of Biology: 2005-present
Assistant Professor of Biology:1999-2005
University of Redlands, Redlands, CA
Postdoctoral Research Associate: 1997-1999
Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
Awards, Honors and Grants
Grants in support of teaching and research:
2003: Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program; $60,000
Co-authored with David Soulsby, David Schrum, James Blauth and Dan Wacks
"Interdisciplinary research projects for underclass students"
NSF: CCLI-A&I $116,166 2001
Co-authored with Ben Aronson and James Blauth
"Integration of student-designed laboratories in cell and tissue biology"
Blauth, Susan L., Kyung-Nam Kim, Jeffery Klucinec, Jack C. Shannon, Donald Thompson, Mark Guilitinan. 2002. Identification of Mutator insertional mutants of starch branching enzyme 1 (Sbe1) in Zea mays L. Plant Molec Biol 48:287-297
Blauth, Susan L., Jeffery D. Klucinec, Jack C. Shannon, Donald B. Thompson, and Mark J. Guiltinan. 2001 Identification of Mutator insertional mutants of starch branching enzyme 2a (Sbe2a) in Zea mays L. Plant Physiology 125:1396-1405.
Blauth, Susan L., John C. Steffens, Gary A. Churchill and Martha A. Mutschler.1999. Identification of QTLs controlling acylsugar fatty acid composition in an intraspecific population of Lycopersicon pennellii (Corr.) D'Arcy. Theor Appl Genet 99: 373-381
Blauth, Susan L., Gary A. Churchill and Martha A. Mutschler. 1998. Identification of quantitative trait loci associated with acylsugar accumulation using intraspecific populations of the wild tomato, Lycopersicon pennellii. Theor Appl Genet 96: 458-467
(last 5 years; undergraduates underlined)
S.l. Blauth D. Soulsby, M Kard, L Baron, T Kennedy. 2009. No evidence of inhibition of germination or radicle elongation in Amaranthus hypochondriacus by herbarumin I, a reported phytotoxin from plant pathogen Phoma herbarum. Amer. Society of Plant Biologists Plant Biology Conference.
M. Kard, D. Soulsby and S. Blauth. 2008. Growth-related effects of phytotoxins and herbicides on two plant species Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research.
M. Kard, D. Orr, D. Soulsby and S. Blauth. 2007. Development of a phytotoxicity assay for Arabidopsis thaliana and Amaranthus hypochondriacus. Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research.
D. Orr, M. Kard, D. Soulsby and S. Blauth. 2007. Assessment of Arabidopsis thaliana and Amaranthus hypochondriacus as test species to examine the phytotoxicity of the fungal toxin herbarumin I. Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research.
S.l. Blauth D. Soulsby. 2007. Development of an interdisciplinary research course in biology and chemistry to study the phytotoxin herbarumin I. Amer. Society of Plant Biologists Plant Biology Conference.
S.l. Blauth, A. Myers, M. James. 2006. Interaction between starch synthase III and other starch biosynthetic enzymes in Arabidopsis thaliana as determined by yeast two hybrid analysis. Amer. Soc of Plant Biol Plant Biology Conference.
S.l. Blauth, L. Plumlee, C. Newkirk, S. Pourteymoor. 2005. Identification of T-DNA insertion mutants for starch branching enzyme isoforms in Arabidopsis thaliana. Amer. Society of Plant Biologists Plant Biology Conference.
AAAS: American Association for the Advancement of Science
ASPB: American Society of Plant Biologists
On the Biology Department:
Our department has a very strong commitment to providing our students the opportunity to engage in a very meaningful research experience. This is offered through our research courses offered during the academic year that involves numerous activities and development of skills that students would find difficult to gain at other institutions and that prepare our students well for post-graduate programs or research. We also run a summer research program through which students can experience a less structured research experience.