The image is an electron tomographic reconstruction of a developing maize aleurone cell containing vacuoles with large aggregates of storage proteins (red) and intravacuolar membranes (green): mitochondria (gold), plastids (green), lipid bodies (blue) and ribosomes (white) are abundant in the cytoplasm. (Figure provided by Prof. Marisa Otegui, UW Madison)

Figure provided by Prof. Marisa Otegui, UW Madison

Plant Biology

The image is an electron tomographic reconstruction of a developing maize aleurone cell containing vacuoles with large aggregates of storage proteins (red) and intravacuolar membranes (green): mitochondria (gold), plastids (green), lipid bodies (blue) and ribosomes (white) are abundant in the cytoplasm.  (Figure provided by Prof. Marisa Otegui, UW Madison)

In keeping with the long tradition of excellence in basic and applied plant sciences at UW Madison, the CMB plant biology focus group is a vibrant and collaborative research community with a strong commitment to graduate training. With researchers from many departments including Agronomy, Biochemistry, Botany, Genetics, Horticulture, Microbial Sciences, and Plant Pathology, the CMB plant biology focus group plays a major role in keeping UW Madison at the forefront of plant science research.

The focus group has strong research programs in the areas of plant development, cell biology, epigenetic regulation of gene expression, ion transport, gravity/mechano sensing, plant/microbe interactions, pathogen defense, and sustainable agricultural practices. Research in these areas make use of agronomically important crop plants (e.g. maize and soybean) as well as a variety of model plant systems including Arabidopsis, Brachypodium, and Medicago. These plant systems offer many advantages for genetic and biochemical investigations and provide opportunities for training in a wide variety of cutting-edge techniques and approaches, ranging from forward and reverse genetics, advanced live-cell and electron microscopy, to state-of-the-art proteomic, metabolomic and bioinformatic methods.

At a time of increasing challenges due to climate change and increasing population size the knowledge gained through our studies will help to develop new strategies for improved food security and production of other agronomically important products. In addition to the scientific and economic benefits of plant science research, a major goal of the plant science focus group is to train graduate and undergraduate students to become independent scientists and global citizens.

You can view information on the related Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology (PlantCMB) group and their seminar series here.

Jean-Michel Ane headshot

Focus Group Chair Jean-Michel Ané
Bacteriology Department
Symbiotic plant-microbe associations (nodulation and mycorrhization)
jane@wisc.edu

Primary Members

Richard Amasino

Credentials: Biochemistry Department

Position title: Seasonal control of flowering

Email: amasino@biochem.wisc.edu

Sebastian Bednarek

Credentials: Biochemistry Department

Position title: Membrane trafficking, organelle biogenesis, cytokinesis, polarized growth

Email: sybednar@wisc.edu

Andrew Bent

Credentials: Plant Pathology Department

Position title: Molecular basis of plant disease resistance

Email: afbent@wisc.edu

Jacob Brunkard

Credentials: Genetics Department

Position title: Molecular mechanisms regulating plant metabolism

Email: brunkard@wisc.edu

Donna Fernandez

Credentials: Botany Department

Position title: Chloroplast protein targeting and organelle biogenesis

Email: dfernand@wisc.edu

Simon Gilroy

Credentials: Botany Department

Position title: Plant cell biology and signal transduction

Email: sgilroy@wisc.edu

Mehdi Kabbage

Credentials: Plant Pathology Department

Position title: Plant fungal interactions; stress tolerance, programmed cell death

Email: kabbage@wisc.edu

Patrick Krysan

Credentials: Horticulture Department

Position title: MAP kinase signal transduction in Arabidopsis

Email: pjkrysan@wisc.edu

Hiroshi Maeda

Credentials: Botany Department

Position title: Amino acid homeostasis in plants

Email: maeda2@wisc.edu

Patrick Masson

Credentials: Genetics Department

Position title: Molecular genetics of root growth behavior in response to mechanical stimuli

Email: phmasson@wisc.edu

Marisa Otegui

Credentials: Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology & Botany Department

Position title: Endosomal trafficking in plants

Email: otegui@wisc.edu

Edgar Spalding

Credentials: Botany Department

Position title: Plant functional genomics and physiology

Email: spalding@wisc.edu

Michael Sussman

Credentials: Biochemistry Department

Position title: Genome technologies applied to the plasma membrane of eukaryotes: signal transduction and bioenergetics

Email: msussman@wisc.edu

Xuehua Zhong

Credentials: Genetics Department

Position title: Epigenetic regulation in plants

Email: xzhong28@wisc.edu