Benjamin Cole

Contact Info:

The Salk Institute PBIO-C
10010 N. Torrey Pines Rd.
La Jolla, CA 92037
Lab: (858) - 453 - 4100 x1128


I am a graduate student in Joanne Chory's lab at the Salk, and am co-advised by Steve Kay at UCSD. My current research focuses on the network structure of the shade avoidance syndrome in plants. As plants compete for photosynthetically active radiation, signals that clue the plant to the presence of neighboring vegetation prompts a dramatic elongation response as part of an effort to get out of the ensuing shade. Chlorophyll absorbs strongly in the red light portion of the light spectrum, but reflects light in the far-red light portion, far-red light serves as such a light cue that is picked up by plant phytochromes. My research is aimed at the downstream targets of this specific aspect of phytochrome signaling, focusing on transcription factor targets, in an effort to discern the entire transcriptional network architecture behind this phenotypic response to a shaded environment.