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Plant Biology

Plant BiologyThe plant group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory studies fundamental mechanisms in plant development and genetics that impact crop productivity, biodiversity and climate change. Their research uses Arabidopsis, maize and most recently tomato as model systems and expands upon the Nobel prize-winning work done here by Barbara McClintock in the 1940s and 50s. The transposable genetic elements, or "jumping genes," that she discovered are now understood to reprogram the epigenome and are being used at CSHL for functional genomics in Arabidopsis and maize.

CSHL has taken part in numerous plant genome sequencing projects including Arabidopsis, rice, sorghum and maize, as well as epigenomic sequencing and profiling.  We are part of the iPlant Cyberinfrastructure consortium and the Long Island Biofuels Alliance. The Laboratory owns 12 acres of farmland nearby called Uplands Farm. Here, an expert staff raises maize, tomato and Arabidopsis plants for study.


Plant Biology researchers at CSHL:

David Jackson - Plant development; stem cell signaling; genomics and imaging

Rob Martienssen - Epigenetics; DNA methylation; chromatin and chromosome biology; transposable elements; RNA interference; stem cells; germline specification; plant genomics; plant evolution; aquatic plants

W. Richard McCombie - Human genetics; human genome variation; personal genomics; genetics of psychiatric disorders; genetics of cancer, computational molecular biology

Marja Timmermans - Plant development; epigenetic regulation of stem cell fate; pattern formation via small RNAs

Zachary Lippman - Plant developmental genetics; mechanisms of phase transitions for flowering time and inflorescence branching; heterosis

Doreen Ware - Computational biology; comparative genomics; genome evolution; diversity; gene regulation; plant biology