Welcome to the Renner Lab!

The Renner Lab explores evolutionary patterns and processes that drive functional diversification. We use plants and insects as models to study adaptation and current projects examine the underlying genetics and evolution of chemical and structural defense. Members of the lab seek to understand how plants and insects acquire novel phenotypes through co-option of existing genes, tissues, and organs. Specifically, we investigate the role, regulation, and diversity of chemical defense genes, and examine the evolution of multi-step enzyme-catalyzed pathways that form defensive compounds in specialized tissues and organs. This research has broad implications for understanding how plants repurpose defense genes for nutrient acquisition and which genes are key players in the formation of compounds important for insect defense. Our research combines molecular biology with whole genome sequencing, transcriptomics, phylogenetics, and morphology.

Contact us!

Dr. Tanya Renner
Assistant Professor
Department of Entomology
The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
Office Phone: +1-814-863-5752
Email: tur158@psu.edu

We are funded by: