Studies in plant biology in the Division of Biological Sciences span scales from genes to landscapes, explore a diverse array of biological phenomena, and employ an extensive range of approaches. Areas of particular concentration include growth and development, cell biology, species conservation and biodiversity, plant-insect interactions, genetics and genomics, evolution, and ecology. Faculty and students benefit from state-of-the-art plant growth facilities and research cores on campus as well as a larger, interactive community of plant biologists through the Interdisciplinary Plant Group.
Faculty & Research Interests
The genetic and metabolic control of seed amino acids’ composition
Chromosome evolution and function in plants and fruit fly
Genetic control of carbon partitioning in plants
Gene regulatory mechanisms controlling plant architecture traits in cereal crops
The genetics and consequences of maize domestication and breeding
Ecology and evolution in natural plant populations
Genetic control of phototropism in plants
Genetic regulation of meristem function in plants
Application of computational bioinformatics and molecular genomics to plant genomes.
Organization and gene content of mitochondrial genomes in plants
J. Chris Pires
Systematics, phylogenetics, and genome evolution of polyploidy plants
R. Keith Slotkin
Determining how transposable elements become epigenetically silenced
Spatial plant population and community ecology
John C. Walker
Molecular mechanisms regulating cellular signaling in plants
Chris Pierret, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic
“The most meaningful thing that the Division of Biological Sciences and MU Graduate School did for me was to free me to grow into the shoes of an academic. I was given the space and support to work within multiple departments to explore all aspects of my science. By working with mentors in science, education, diversity, and religion, I was able to build the core that supports my current work.”