Ph.D., Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques de l'état, Gembloux, Belgium, 1986
Postdoctoral Research: Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore
Lab website: http://masson.genetics.wisc.edu/
Address: 3262 Genetics/Biotech
Research InterestsGenetics of Root Growth Behavior Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a Model System.
Genomics & Proteomics
Neuro & Behavioral Genetics
Roots’ primary functions are to take up the
water and mineral ions required for plant growth and development, and
to anchor the plant to its substratum. Because a plant spends its entire
life cycle where it germinated, its roots have to colonize the soil in
order to feed the plant without depleting its immediate environment of
essential nutrients. They do so by developing specific patterns of
growth which are dictated by environmental parameters. Hence, roots are
capable of using the directional information provided by the gravity
vector, light, touch, gradients in temperature, humidity, ions,
chemicals and oxygen to guide their growth. My laboratory is using
molecular genetic strategies in Arabidopsis thaliana to study the
molecular mechanisms that allows roots to adopt specific growth
behaviors in response to the mechanical parameters (gravity, touch)
present in their environment.
When Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings grow on the surface of tilted agar-based media, their roots develop a wavy pattern of growth in response to a combination of gravity and touch stimulation. Mutations have been identified that affect the shape of these root waves, eliminate them or convert them into coils (’pig tails’). The molecular genetic and physiological analysis of these mutant lines reveals that the mutations affect genes that are important for root gravitropism (tendency to grow parallel to the gravity vector), or for the control of cellular expansion, a fundamental regulatory process in plant growth and development.
Strohm AK, Baldwin KL, Masson
PH. 2011. Molecular mechanisms of root gravity sensing and signal
transduction. WIREs Dev Biol, 1: 276–285.
Vaughn LM, Masson PH. 2011. A QTL Study for Regions Contributing to Arabidopsis thaliana Root Skewing on Tilted Surfaces. G3, 1(2):105-15.
Stanga JP, Boonsirichai K, Sedbrook JC, Otegui MS, Masson PH. 2009. A role for the TOC complex in Arabidopsis root gravitropism. Plant Physiol. 149(4):1896-905.
Harrison BR, Masson PH. 2008. ARL2, ARG1 and PIN3 define a gravity signal transduction pathway in root statocytes. Plant J. 53(2):380-92.
Perrin RM, Wang Y, Yuen CY, Will J, Masson PH. 2007. WVD2 is a novel microtubule-associated protein in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J, 49(6):961-71.
Boonsirichai K, Sedbrook JC, Chen R, Gilroy S, Masson PH. 2003. ARG1 Is a Peripheral Membrane Protein that Modulates Gravity-Induced Cytoplasmic Alkalinization and Lateral Auxin Transport in Plant Statocytes. Plant Cell 15:2612-2665.