105f Bond Life Sciences Center
Jack Schultz is director of the Bond Life Sciences Center and a professor of plant sciences.
Husband and wife team Jack Schultz and Heidi Appel study how plants cope with stresses, particularly insect pests. Plants mostly respond chemically, for example by producing distasteful or toxic chemicals, many of which have become important to humans as flavors, aromas, preservatives or medicines. The Schultz-Appel lab discovered first that plants produce or change these chemical defenses very rapidly after being attacked. The lab also found that plants emit odors in response to stress, and that these odors can be used to tell what the plant has experienced. This finding could be developed into odor-sensors used to find insect pests in crops. Current work focuses on insects that manipulate plant genes to defeat defenses and improve the plant as food, especially grape phylloxera, which induces galls on grape leaves.