Office: N413 Howell Science Complex
Lab: N414 Howell Science Complex
Address: Department of Biology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
The Thompson lab
is interested in understanding the genetic mechanisms that control
inflorescence (tassel and ear) architecture and floral development in the key
crop plant, maize (corn). The
inflorescences are essential for reproduction and inflorescence architecture in
the ear determines the number and position of seeds that will form. We study
mutants to identify genes required for these processes and then use a variety
of approaches to understand how these genes function during normal development. We currently have two major research projects
in the lab to 1) analyze the role of microRNAs in inflorescence development and
2) investigate how MADS-box transcription factors and other genes regulate floral
control of maize inflorescence development
(miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene
expression in both plants and animals.
We have identified a maize mutant, fuzzy
tassel (fzt), that contains a mutation in dicer-like1 (dcl1). DCL1 is
an enzyme required to make most miRNAs, and fzt mutant phenotypes are likely
due reduced miRNA levels. fzt has both
striking inflorescence and vegetative phenotypes, implicating miRNAs in a wide
variety of developmental processes. We are
using a combination of genomic, molecular and genetic approaches to identify
specific miRNAs and miRNA target pairs that are misregulated in fzt and control
specific stages of inflorescence development.
This project is
funded by an NSF CAREER grant; click here for the project link on the NSF
I am recruiting Ph.D. students
to work on this project. Please contact
me directly if you are interested!
control of maize floral development
development has been extensively studied in Arabidopsis, however much less is
known about floral development in maize and the grasses. We study known mutants and floral regulators
to understand how floral development is regulated in maize. We are particularly interested in how
BEARDED-EAR and other MADS-box transcription factors control maize floral development. To identify new genes that function in maize
floral development, we are screening for new floral mutants and then mapping
these mutants in the lab.
I am always
looking for motivated Ph.D., masters, and undergraduate students to join the
lab and contribute to these projects.
Please contact me if you are interested in joining us!
Beth E. Thompson, Christine Basham, Reza
Hammond, Queying Ding, Atul Kakrana, Tzuu-Fen Lee, Stacey A. Simon, Robert
Meeley, Blake C. Meyers, and Sarah Hake (2014). The dicer-like1 Homolog fuzzy
tassel Is Required for the Regulation of Meristem Determinacy in the Inflorescence
and Vegetative Growth in Maize. The Plant Cell 26, 4702-2717.
Bartlett and Beth Thompson (2014). Meristem identity and phyllotaxis in
inflorescence development. Frontiers in Plant Science 5, 508.
Beth Thompson (2014). Genetic and Hormonal
Regulation of Maize Inflorescence Development. In J-P. Jacquot, & P. Gadal
(Serial Eds.) & F. Fornara (Serial Vol. Ed.), Advances in Botanical
Research, 72, 263-296.
Beth E. Thompson, Linnea Bartling, Clint Whipple, Darren H. Hall, Hajime Sakai, Robert Schmidt, and Sarah Hake (2009). bearded-ear Encodes a MAD Box Transcription Factor Critical for Maize Floral Development. Plant Cell 21, 2578-2590.
Nayoung Suh, Sarah L. Crittenden, Aaron Goldstrohm, Brad Hook, Beth Thompson, Marvin Wickens and Judith Kimble (2009). FBF and Its Dual Control of gld-1 Expression in the Caenorhabditis elegans Germline. Genetics 181, 1249-1260.
Beth E. Thompson and Sarah Hake (2009). Translational Biology: from Arabidopsis flowers to grass inflorescence architecture. Plant Physiology 149, 28-45.
Beth Thompson, Marvin Wickens, and Judith Kimble (2007). Translational control in development. In Translational Control in Biology and Medicine, (ed. M. B. Mathews N. Sonenberg and J. W. B. Hershey), pp. 507-544. Woodbury, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Beth E. Thompson, Liana B. Lamont, and Judith Kimble (2006). Germ-line induction of the Caenorhabditis elegans vulva. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103, 620-625.
Beth E. Thompson, David S. Bernstein, Jennifer L. Bachorik, Andrei G. Petcherski, Marvin Wickens, and Judith Kimble (2005). Dose-dependent control of proliferation and sperm specification by FOG-1/CPEB. Development 132, 3471-3481.
Sarah L. Crittenden, Davis S. Bernstein, Jennifer L. Bachorik. Beth E. Thompson, Maria Gallegos, Andrei G. Petcherski, Gary Moulder, Robert Barstead, Marvin Wickens and Judith Kimble (2002). A conserved RNA-binding protein controls germline stem cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature 417, 630-633.
Bethany K. Zolman, Melanie Monroe-Augustus, Beth Thompson, John W. Hawes, Kristin A. Krukenberg, Seiichi P. T. Matsuda, and Bonnie Bartel (2001). chy1, an Arabidopsis Mutant with Impaired b-Oxidation, Is Defective in a Peroxisomal Hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA Hydrolase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 276, 31037-31046.
BIOL 2300: Principles of Genetics
BIOL 3260: Cell & Developmental Biology (w/ Dr. Dave Rudel)
BIOL 4230: Concepts in Cell Biology
BIOL 6130: Advances in Developmental Biology