University of Wisconsin–Madison
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.

Headshot

Focus Group Chair Sebastian Bednarek
Biochemistry Department
Membrane trafficking, organelle biogenesis, cytokinesis, polarized growth
sybednar@wisc.edu

Primary Members

Richard Amasino

Biochemistry Department

Seasonal control of flowering

amasino@biochem.wisc.edu

Jean-Michel Ané

Department of Bacteriology

Symbiotic plant-microbe associations (nodulation and mycorrhization)

jane@wisc.edu

Andrew Bent

Plant Pathology Department

Molecular basis of plant disease resistance

afbent@wisc.edu

Donna Fernandez

Botany Department

Chloroplast protein targeting and organelle biogenesis

dfernand@wisc.edu

Simon Gilroy

Botany Department

Plant cell biology and signal transduction

sgilroy@wisc.edu

Mehdi Kabbage

Plant Pathology Department

Plant fungal interactions; stress tolerance, programmed cell death

kabbage@wisc.edu

Patrick Krysan

Horticulture Department

MAP kinase signal transduction in Arabidopsis

pjkrysan@wisc.edu

Patrick Masson

Genetics Department

Molecular genetics of root growth behavior in response to mechanical stimuli

phmasson@wisc.edu

Marisa Otegui

Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology & Botany Department

Endosomal trafficking in plants

otegui@wisc.edu

Sara Patterson

Horticulture Department

Regulation of cell separation and adhesion in Arabidopsis

spatters@wisc.edu

Erin Silva

Plant Pathology Department

Soil biology, soil ecology, food safety

emsilva@wisc.edu

Edgar Spalding

Botany Department

Plant functional genomics and physiology

spalding@wisc.edu

Michael Sussman

Biochemistry Department

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

msussman@wisc.edu

Xuehua Zhong

Genetics Department

Epigenetic regulation in plants

xzhong28@wisc.edu