Jack C. Schultz
Department of Biology and Biochemistry
Education: Ph.D., University of Washington; B.A., University of Chicago
Google Scholar Profile
Dr. Schultz’s research has focused on the chemical and molecular bases of interactions between plants and insect herbivores, integrating insect physiology and behavior with plant chemistry, molecular biology and ecology. He (with undergraduate Ian Baldwin) was the first to demonstrate volatile signaling by and among plants. He also studied the role of plant tannins induced by insect attack in defending plants against pests and found that some interfere with biocontrol.
Gene expression underlies defense induction by plants. The Schultz lab demonstrated the relationship between gene expression, resource allocation, defense compound production and plant defense using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. They also found that salivary signals allow some insects to block plant defense responses.
Some insects induce the development of unique organs on plants called ‘galls.’ Galls house the insect and provide concentrated food resources. A team led by Schultz demonstrated that development of the gall formed on grape leaves by grape phylloxera involves plant genetic pathways unrelated to leaf development and requires relatively undifferentiated leaf cells and manipulation of plant hormones.
In 2007, Schultz became Director of the Christopher Bond Life Science Center at the University of Missouri, where he led interdisciplinary research by faculty from 8 departments in 6 colleges. Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and NSF, he developed and taught in a training program in science communication for graduate students. Schultz has also taught tropical ecology and studied plant defenses in Costa Rica, primarily at the La Selva Biological Station.
Honors & Awards
- Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Penn State University
- Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Black Award for Excellence in Research, Penn State University
Organizations, Outreach, Boards, Memberships
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow)
- American Society of Plant Biologists
- Entomological Society of America