My group explores oxylipin biology in plant interactions with microbes, insects, and other stresses. Oxylipins are a chemical group of oxygenated lipids found ubiquitously throughout all kingdoms of life and possess potent signaling activity. With very few exceptions, their role in plants is largely unknown. The two best studied plant oxylipins are jasmonic acid, a classic phytohormone involved in insect and pathogen defense, and green leaf volatiles, the smell of freshly cut grass used by plants to warn themselves and each other of incoming danger. Our inspiration comes from mammalian systems, where oxylipin analogues regulate all known biological processes and where nearly 80% of the drugs on the market target pathways under oxylipin control. The Borrego lab seeks to characterize the function of oxylipins in agro-economically relevant processes for important crop species. We utilize genetic, molecular, and biochemical approaches with transcriptomic, metabolomic, and lipidomic technologies to address problems such as insect and pathogen resistance, drought tolerance, and heavy metal accumulation.
I was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley and graduated high school from the Science Academy of South Texas in 2004. I earned a B.S. in Plant and Soil Science from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2008, and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Texas A&M University in 2014. I started my adventures at RIT in the Fall of 2019.