Elizabeth S. Haswell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program
Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program

Research Abstract:

The Haswell lab is interested in how molecules and cellular structures perceive force. Little is known about signaling in response to stimuli that are mechanical in nature, such as touch, osmotic pressure, or gravity—signals that are crucial for the normal growth and development of plants. We are currently studying the structure, function, regulation, and evolution of a family of mechanosensitive ion channels related to the bacterial channel MscS, using live-imaging, single-channel patch clamp electrophysiology, and complementary biochemical and molecular genetic approaches. We are also engaged in functional and genetic screens designed to identify novel mechanosensory proteins, and in the development of new tools for the non-invasive analysis of membrane forces in plants and select pathogens. These studies promise novel insight into the strategies used by both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells to sense mechanical stimuli.

Selected Publications:

1. M. E. Wilson, Matt Mixdorf, R. H. Berg and E. S. Haswell. Plastid Osmotic Shock Influences Dedifferentiation at the Plant Shoot Apex. Development, in press.
2. D. R. Luesse, M. E. Wilson and E. S. Haswell. (2015). RNA-Sequencing Analysis of the msl2msl3, crl, and ggps1 Mutants Indicates that Diverse Sources of Plastid Dysfunction do not Alter Leaf Morphology Through a Common Signaling Pathway. Frontiers in Plant Science 6:1148.
3. E. S. Hamilton, G. S. Jensen, G. Maksaev, A. Katims1, A.M. Sherp and E. S. Haswell. (2015). Mechanosensitive Ion Channel MSL8 Regulates Osmotic Forces During Pollen Hydration and Germination. Science 350:438-441.
4. S. M. Brady, M. Burow, W. Busch, O. Carlborg, K. J. Denby, J. Glazebrook, E. S. Hamilton, S. Harmer, E. S. Haswell, J. N. Maloof, D. Kliebenstein. (2015). Reassess the t-test: Interact With All Your Data Via ANOVA. Plant Cell 27:2088-94.
5. E. S. Haswell and P. E. Verslues. (2015). The Ongoing Search for the Molecular Basis of Plant Mechanosensing. Journal of General Physiology 145:398-394. Featured on the cover of the May 2015 issue.
6. E. S. Hamilton, A. Schlegel, and E. S. Haswell. (2015). United in Diversity: Plant Mechanosensitive Channels. Annual Review of Plant Biology 66:113-137.
7. K. M. Veley, G. Maksaev, S. M. Kloepper1, E. M. Frick, E. January and E. S. Haswell. (2014). MSL10 has a Regulated Cell Death Signaling Activity that is Separable from its Mechanosensitive Ion Channel Activity. Plant Cell 26:3115-31.
8. S. Bell, J. Blumstein, K. Brose, A. Carroll, J. Chang, J. Charles, E. S. Haswell, M. Michelitsch, J. Owens, C. K. Patil, R. Smith, J. Tupy, E. Walsh, T. Ware. (2014). Defining Success in Graduate School. Molecular Biology of the Cell 25:1942-1944.
9. M. E. Wilson, M. R. Basu, G. B. Bhaskara, P. E. Verslues, and E. S. Haswell. (2014). Plastid Osmotic Stress Activates Cellular Osmotic Stress Responses. Plant Physiology 165:119-128.
10. M.E. Wilson, G. Maksaev, and E. S. Haswell. (2013). MscS-like Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Plants and Microbes. Biochemistry 52 (34): 5708–5722.

Last Updated: 7/29/2016 9:33:40 AM

The mechanosensitive ion channels we study are gated directly by increased lateral membrane tension.
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