Patrick Masson

Position title: Professor


Phone: 608-265-2312

Genetic investigations of root growth behaviors and polyamine responses in Arabidopsis thaliana and Brachypodium distachyon

3262 Genetics/Biotech
Ph.D., Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques de l'état, Gembloux, Belgium, (1986), Postdoctoral Research: Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore (1986-1991)
Lab Website
Research Interests
Genetic investigations of root growth behaviors and polyamine responses in Arabidopsis thaliana and Brachypodium distachyon
Research Fields
Cell Biology, Development, Gene Expression, Neuro & Behavioral Genetics, Plants

Research Description:
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 and complex patterns of growth that 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 and Brachypodium distachyon to study the molecular mechanisms that allow roots to adopt specific growth behaviors in response to the mechanical parameters (gravity, touch) present in their environment. We also investigate the role of a specific group of signaling compounds named polyamines in the regulation of root growth behavior androot system architecture development in response to biotic and abiotic stressors in the environment.

Representative Publications:
Search PubMed for more publications by Patrick Masson

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. 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. Harrison BR, Masson PH. 2008. ARL2, ARG1 and PIN3 define a gravity signal transduction pathway in root statocytes. Plant J. 53(2):380-92.

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. Vaughn LM, Masson PH (2011). A QTL study for regions contributing to Arabidopsis thaliana root skewing on tilted surfaces. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 1(2): 105-115. Baldwin KL, Dinh EM, Hart BM, Masson PH. (2013) CACTIN Is an Essential Nuclear Protein in Arabidopsis and May Be Associated with the Eukaryotic Spliceosome. FEBS Letters 587(7): 873-879. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2013.02.041.

Strohm A., Vaughn L., & Masson P.H. (2015) Natural variation in the expression of ORGANIC CATION TRANSPORTER 1 affects root length responses to cadaverine in Arabidopsis. J Exp Bot 66(3): 853-862. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru444.

Su, S.-H., Gray, W.M., and Masson, P.H. (2015). News and Views. Auxin: Shape Matters. Nature Plant 1. Doi: 10.1038/NPLANTS.2015.97.

Jancewicz A.L., Gibbs N.M., & Masson P.H. (2016). Cadaverine’s functional role in plant development and environmental response. Frontiers in Plant Science 7, article 870. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00870.

Su, S-H., Gibbs, N.M., Jancewicz, A.L., and Masson, P.H. (2017). Molecular Mechanisms of Root Gravitropism. Curr Biol 27: R964-R972.

Gibbs, N.M, Su, S.-H., Lopez-Nives, S., Mann, S., Alban, C., Maeda, H.A., and Masson, P.H. (2021). Cadaverine regulates biotin synthesis to modulate primary root growth in Arabidopsis. The Plant Journal 107(5): 1283-1298. doi: 10.1111/tpj.15417.

Su SH, Levine HG, Masson PH (2023). Brachypodium distachyon Seedlings Display Accession-Specific Morphological and Transcriptomic Responses to the Microgravity Environment of the International Space Station. Life (Basel) 13(3):626. doi: 10.3390/life13030626.

Su SH, Moen A, Groskopf RM, Baldwin KL, Vesperman B, Masson PH (2023). Low-Speed Clinorotation of Brachypodium distachyon and Arabidopsis thaliana Seedlings Triggers Root-Tip Curvatures That Are Reminiscent of Gravitropism. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 24(2):1540. doi: 10.3390/ijms24021540.