BS, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Ph.D, Texas A&M University
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 analogs 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 a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Texas A&M University in 2014. I started my adventures at RIT in the Fall of 2019.
I am excited to be here and passionate about oxylipins, maize genetics, and mentoring students. Please email me if you're interested in doing research with my group and check out my website for additional information.
In the News
December 3, 2021
Growing faculty diversity
RIT has modernized its approach to recruiting faculty members to improve representation. Assistant Professor Eli Borrego, pictured above, is an expert in the genetics and biochemistry of plant-microbe and plant-insect communication and ecology, and he was introduced to RIT through the Future Faculty Career Exploration Program.
RIT Undergraduate Students Receive Research Funding from Rochester Academy of Science
Emalee Wrightstone and Lexi Pyke (Biotechnology)
An essential part of the research process, two RIT undergraduate students, learn that the grant writing process is more of an art than a science.