Dr. Finkelstein received her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in 1986 from Indiana University at Bloomington. Her doctoral thesis examined the role of environmental and hormonal signals in regulating gene expression and physiological changes during plant embryo maturation. As an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory from 1986 to 1988, she added a genetic approach, studying mutants with reduced sensitivity to the phytohormone abscisic acid. She has expanded her studies of ABA response loci since joining the UCSB faculty in 1989. Dr. Finkelstein served as a Monitoring Editor for the journal Plant Physiology from 2000-2005, and as an Associate Dean for the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences from 2006-2008.
My laboratory studies signal transduction in response to abscisic acid (ABA), a hormone that affects many agronomically important features of plant growth: embryo development, seed and bud dormancy, water relations, tolerance of a variety of environmental stresses, and senescence. We have used mutants of Arabidopsis with reduced sensitivity to ABA to identify genes required for response. Characterization of these mutants suggests that the products of the ABA-insensitive (ABI) and other ABA response loci operate in a web of interconnected recognition/response pathways that includes "cross-talk" with signaling in response to other hormones, nutrient status, abiotic stresses, light and developmental cues. By integrating molecular, genetic and physiological data, we are contributing to a coherent model of ABA action that can have applications in modifying seed quality and yield or stress tolerance of plants.
TJ Lynch, BJ Erickson, DR Miller, RR Finkelstein (2017) ABI5-binding proteins (AFPs) alter transcription of ABA-induced genes via a variety of interactions with chromatin modifiers. Plant Mol. Biol. 93 (4-5), 403-418
Finkelstein R (2013) Abscisic acid synthesis and response. The Arabidopsis Book 11, e0166
Lynch T, Erickson BJ, Finkelstein RR. (2012) Direct interactions of ABA-insensitive (ABI)-clade protein phosphatase (PP)2Cs with calcium-dependent protein kinases and ABA response element-binding bZIPs may contribute to turning off ABA response. Plant Mol. Biol. 80:647-658
R Finkelstein, T Lynch, W Reeves, M Petitfils, M Mostachetti (2011) Accumulation of the transcription factor ABA-insensitive (ABI) 4 is tightly regulated post-transcriptionally. J. Exp. Bot. 62: 3971-3979
Cutler SR, Rodriguez PL, Finkelstein RR, Abrams SR (2010) Abscisic Acid: Emergence of a Core Signaling Network. Annual Review of Plant Biology61:651–79
Park S-Y, Fung P, Nishimura N, Jensen DR, Fujii H, Zhao Y, Lumba S, Santiago J, Rodrigues A, Chow, T-f F, Alfred, SE, Bonetta D, Finkelstein R, Provart NJ, Desveaux D, Rodriguez PL, McCourt P, Zhu J-K, Schroeder JI, Volkman BF, Cutler SR (2009) Abscisic Acid Inhibits Type 2C Protein Phosphatases via the PYR/PYL Family of START Proteins. Science 324:1068 - 1071 http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/324/5930/1068
Finkelstein R, Reeves W, Ariizumi T, Steber C (2008) Molecular aspects of seed dormancy. Ann. Rev. Plant Biol.59: 387-415
Finkelstein R, Gampala SSL, Lynch TJ, Thomas TL, Rock CD (2005) Redundant and Distinct Functions of the ABA Response Loci ABA-INSENSITIVE(ABI)5 and ABRE-BINDING FACTOR (ABF)3. Plant Mol. Biol. 59:253-267