A Systems Approach to Inflorescence Architecture in Maize

David Peter Jackson
David Peter Jackson
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA
13:00~13:45, November 20th, 2014

Abstract :

Inflorescences of maize and other grasses such as wheat, rice and sorghum, have complex architectures, which limits direct translation from eudicot models. Grasses are characterized by unique floral branches, called spikelets, and their determinacy is differentially regulated in different grass species, with implications in crop yield. We have approach an understanding of maize inflorescence architecture using complementary approaches of genomics and classical genetics.

In the first approach, Next Gen profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation have been used to formulate networks and build new hypotheses about regulatory mechanisms. Our results represent the most comprehensive systems-level analysis of inflorescence development in a higher crop plant, which can be directly leveraged for targeted crop improvement. In the second approach, we use genomics assisted map-based cloning to identify genes characterized by mutant phenotype, and have identified new points of regulation in stem cell determinacy and branching that were not known in other systems. However, we show that these functions are widely conserved. These recent findings will be discussed, as well as potential applications of this research in improvement of crop yields.


Professional Experience

  • 2006 – Present : Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • 2002 – 2006 : Associate Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York
  • 1997 – 2001 : Assistant Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York
  • 1994 – 1997 : USDA Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 1992 – 1994 : NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, USDA/UC Berkeley Plant Gene Expression Center, Albany, CA
  • 1992 – 1994: Research Supervisor: Professor Sarah Hake Regulation of shoot apical meristem function in maize through the identification of molecular markers and characterization of genes involved in shoot morphogenesis.  Intercellular trafficking of plant transcription factors.
  • 1987 -1988 : EEC Junior Research Fellow, Institute des Sciences Végétales, Gif Sur Yvette, France.
  • 1987 -1988 : Research Director: Dr. Kiem Tran Thanh Van; Biochemical factors affecting morphogenesis in thin layer explants of tobacco and torenia.