David Jackson

David Jackson


Ph.D., University of East Anglia, 1991

jacksond@cshl.edu | 516-367-8467

Jackson Lab Website   Faculty Profile

My lab studies genes and signals in cells that regulate the growth and shape of plants. We have discovered several genes that control plant architecture by exerting an influence on stem cells. By identifying the genes that control the number of stem cells in corn plants, for example, we’ve discovered a means of boosting the yield of that vital staple.

David Jackson and colleagues study genes and signals that regulate plant growth and architecture. They are investigating a unique way in which plant cells communicate, by transporting regulatory proteins via small channels called plasmodesmata. These channels, which direct the flow of nutrients and signals through growing tissues, are regulated during development. The team discovered a gene encoding a chaperonin, CCT8, that controls the transport of a transcription factor SHOOTMERISTEMLESS (STM) between cells in the plant stem cell niche, or meristem. STM is critical for stem cell maintenance, and studies of the CCT8 gene indicate that movement of STM between cells is required for this function. The lab also continues to identify other genes that control plant architecture through effects on stem cell maintenance and identity, and their work has implications for crop yields. Recent examples include discovery of a subunit of a heterotrimeric G protein that is conserved throughout animals and plants, and their studies indicate that this gene controls stem cell proliferation. They have found that in plants, the G protein interacts with a completely different class of receptors than in animals. Their discovery helps to explain how signaling from diverse receptors is achieved in plants. This year, they also demonstrated that weak mutations in one of the receptor proteins can enhance seed production in maize, which could lead to yield increases. Separately, the lab has characterized system-wide networks of gene expression, using “next-gen” profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation methods that have revealed many new hypotheses in developmental networks controlling inflorescence development. They are also developing a collection of maize lines that can drive expression of any reporter or experimental gene in any tissue type—tools of great interest to maize researchers that are being made available to the broader scientific community, enabling experiments never before possible in crop plants.

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All Publications

A pan-grass transcriptome reveals patterns of cellular divergence in crops.

May 2023 | Nature | 617(7962):785-791
Guillotin, Bruno, Rahni, Ramin, Passalacqua, Michael, Mohammed, Mohammed, Xu, Xiaosa, Raju, Sunil, Ramírez, Carlos, Jackson, David, Groen, Simon, Gillis, Jesse, Birnbaum, Kenneth

Single-cell analysis opens a goldmine for plant functional studies

6 Dec 2022 | Current Opinion in Biotechnology | 79:102858
Xu, Xiaosa, Jackson, David

Crop domestication: past, present and future

20 Oct 2022 | Plant and Cell Physiology
Jackson, David, Buell, C

A NAC-EXPANSIN module enhances maize kernel size by controlling nucellus elimination

29 Sep 2022 | Nature Communications | 13(1):5708
Sun, Qin, Li, Yunfu, Gong, Dianming, Hu, Aoqing, Zhong, Wanshun, Zhao, Hailiang, Ning, Qiang, Tan, Zengdong, Liang, Kun, Mu, Luyao, Jackson, David, Zhang, Zuxin, Yang, Fang, Qiu, Fazhan

An adaptive teosinte mexicana introgression modulates phosphatidylcholine levels and is associated with maize flowering time

5 Jul 2022 | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA | 119(27):e2100036119
Barnes, Allison, Rodríguez-Zapata, Fausto, Juárez-Núñez, Karla, Gates, Daniel, Janzen, Garrett, Kur, Andi, Wang, Li, Jensen, Sarah, Estévez-Palmas, Juan, Crow, Taylor, Kavi, Heli, Pil, Hannah, Stokes, Ruthie, Knizner, Kevan, Aguilar-Rangel, Maria, Demesa-Arévalo, Edgar, Skopelitis, Tara, Pérez-Limón, Sergio, Stutts, Whitney, Thompson, Peter, Chiu, Yu-Chun, Jackson, David, Muddiman, David, Fiehn, Oliver, Runcie, Daniel, Buckler, Edward, Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey, Hufford, Matthew, Sawers, Ruairidh, Rellán-Álvarez, Rubén

Redox-engineering enhances maize thermotolerance and grain yield in the field

2 Jun 2022 | Plant Biotechnology Journal
Sprague, Stuart, Tamang, Tej, Steiner, Trevor, Wu, Qingyu, Hu, Ying, Kakeshpour, Tayebeh, Park, Jungeun, Yang, Jian, Peng, Zhao, Bergkamp, Blake, Somayanda, Impa, Peterson, Morgan, Oliveira Garcia, Ely, Hao, Yangfan, St Amand, Paul, Bai, Guihua, Nakata, Paul, Rieu, Ivo, Jackson, David, Cheng, Ninghui, Valent, Barbara, Hirschi, Kendal, Jagadish, Sv, Liu, Sanzhen, White, Frank, Park, Sunghun

A reactive oxygen species burst causes haploid induction in maize

5 Apr 2022 | Molecular Plant
Jiang, Chenglin, Sun, Ju, Li, Rui, Yan, Shijuan, Chen, Wei, Guo, Liang, Qin, Guochen, Wang, Pengcheng, Luo, Cheng, Huang, Wenjie, Zhang, Qinghua, Fernie, Alisdair, Jackson, David, Li, Xiang, Yan, Jianbing

A Forward Genetic Approach to Identify Plasmodesmal Trafficking Regulators Based on Trichome Rescue

30 Mar 2022 | Methods in Molecular Biology | 2457:393-407
Kitagawa, Munenori, Jackson, David

Convergent selection of a WD40 protein that enhances grain yield in maize and rice

25 Mar 2022 | Science | 375(6587):eabg7985
Chen, Wenkang, Chen, Lu, Zhang, Xuan, Yang, Ning, Guo, Jianghua, Wang, Min, Ji, Shenghui, Zhao, Xiangyu, Yin, Pengfei, Cai, Lichun, Xu, Jing, Zhang, Lili, Han, Yingjia, Xiao, Yingni, Xu, Gen, Wang, Yuebin, Wang, Shuhui, Wu, Sheng, Yang, Fang, Jackson, David, Cheng, Jinkui, Chen, Saihua, Sun, Chuanqing, Qin, Feng, Tian, Feng, Fernie, Alisdair, Li, Jiansheng, Yan, Jianbing, Yang, Xiaohong

An RNA exosome subunit mediates cell-to-cell trafficking of a homeobox mRNA via plasmodesmata

14 Jan 2022 | Science | 375(6577):177-182
Kitagawa, Munenori, Wu, Peipei, Balkunde, Rachappa, Cunniff, Patrick, Jackson, David

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