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Biological Sciences

Dr. Darron Luesse 

Portrait of Dr. Darron LuesseAssociate Professor, Assistant Chair

Ph.D. Indiana University, 2006

Office: SW 1125
Research Lab: SW 1020
Phone: (618) 650-2153

Courses Taught: Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 319), Plant Physiology (BIOL 472), Molecular Plant Biology (BIOL 475), Recombinant DNA Technology (BIOL 418a), Bioinformatics (BIOL 490), Introduction to Biological Sciences I (BIOL 150).

Research Interests: I am interested in how plants, as sessile organisms, perceive and respond to environmental stimuli.  My current research utilizes the genetic model organism Arabidopsis thaliana to study asymmetric growth in response to a change in the direction of gravity, a process known as gravitropism.  Simply stated, I study how plants know which way is “up,” and how they respond to a reorientation with respect to gravity.  More specifically, I am fascinated by the complex signaling pathways that regulate such a straightforward response.  To better understand these processes I use a combination of molecular, genetic and physiological approaches to gain functional information about the genes required for a plant to sense and physically respond to gravity. Most recently, this has led to a collaboration with NASA to determine the differences in protein expression and post translational modifications between ground samples vs. those in orbit on the International Space Station.

Research Opportunities: For inquiries please contact me.

Selected Publications

Ruppel, NJ, Kropp, KN, Davis, PA, Martin, AE, Luesse, DR, and Hangarter, RP. (2013)  Mutations in GERANYLGERANYL DIPHOSPHATE SYNTHASE 1 affect chloroplast development in Arabidopsis thaliana.  American Journal of Botany 100(10): 2074-2084.

Luesse, DR, Schenck, CA, Berner, BK, Justus, B, Wyatt, SE (2010) GPS4 is allelic to ARL2: Implications for gravitropic signal transduction. Gravitational and Space Biology 23: 95-96.

Luesse, DR, DeBlasio, SL, Hangarter RP (2010) Integration of phot1, phot2, and PhyB signalling in light-induced chloroplast movements. Journal of Experimental Botany. 61: 4387-4397.

Luesse, D. R., DeBlasio, S. L., and Hangarter, R. P. (2006) Plastid Movement Impaired 2 (PMI2), a new gene required for normal blue-light-induced chloroplast movements in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology, 141: 1328-1337.

DeBlasio, S. L., Luesse, D. R., and Hangarter, R. P. (2005) A plant-specific protein essential for blue-light-induced chloroplast movements. Plant Physiology, 139: 101-114.

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