Ivan Baxter, Ph.D.

USDA Research Scientist, Assistant Member
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Honorary Adjunct Assistant Professor

Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program

  • 314-587-1438

  • 1137

  • Danforth Plant Science Center

  • ibaxter@danforthcenter.org

  • Ionomics, Genetics, Genomics, Gene by Environment Interactions, Plants

  • We use High-thoughput elemental profiling to understand how plants adapt to their soil environment

Research Abstract:

Understanding how plants regulate element composition of tissues is critical for agriculture, the environment, and human health. Sustainably meeting the increasing food and biofuel demands of the planet will require growing crops with fewer inputs such as the primary macronutrients phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). P in fertilizer is non-renewable, too expensive for subsistence farmers, and inefficiently utilized by crops, leading to runoff and severe downstream ecological consequences. Plants comprise the major portion of the human diet, and improving their elemental nutrient content can greatly affect human health. However, efforts directed at a single element can have unforeseen deleterious effects. For example, limiting iron (Fe) or P can lead to increased accumulation of the toxic elements cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As).

The Baxter lab is interested in understanding how plants regulate the mobilization, uptake, translocation, and storage of elements in different environments. We are focusing our efforts on the seeds of corn and soybeans, the two most commonly grown crops in the United States. The seeds are important not only as the component of the plant that gets used for food, but also as a summary tissue of many physiological processes that are important for plant growth. We also study model systems to understand basic processes and apply this knowledge to the crop plants.

Selected Publications:

Ziegler G, Terauchi A, Becker A, Armstrong P, Hudson K, Baxter I. (2012) Ionomic screening of field-grown soybeans identifies mutants with altered seed elemental composition. Plant Genome doi: 10.3835/plantgeome2012.07.0012.

Baxter I. and Dilkes BP. (2012) Elemental profiles reflect plant adaptations to the environment. Science, 36, 1661; doi: 10.1126/science.1219992

Baxter I, Hermans C, Lahner B, Yakubova E, Tikhonova, Verbruggen N, Chao DY, Salt DE. (2012) Biodiversity of mineral nutrient and trace element accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS ONE; 7(4): e35121. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035121

Baxter I, Brazelton J, Yu D, Huang Y, Lahner B, Nordbord M, Vitek O, Salt DE. (2010) A coastal cline in sodium accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana is driven by natural variation of the sodium transporter AtHKT1;1. PLoS Genet. 6(11): e1001193. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001193.

Buescher E, Achberger T, Amusan I, Giannini A, Ochsenfeld C, Rus A, Lahner B, Hoekenga O, Yakubova E, Harper JF, Guerinot ML, Zhang M, Salt DE, Baxter IR. (2010) Natural genetic variation in selected populations of Arabidopsis thaliana is associated with ionomic differences. PLoS ONE 5(6): e11081. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011081

Baxter I. (2010) Ionomics: The functional genomics of elements. Brief Funct Genomic Proteomic 9 (2), 149-56.

Baxter I, Hosmani PS, Rus A, Lahner B, Borevitz JO, Muthukumar B, Mickelbart MV, Schreiber L, Franke RB, Salt DE (2009) Root suberin forms an extracellular barrier that affects water relations and mineral nutrition in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genet. 5(5): e1000492. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000492

Baxter I. (2009) Studying the Social Network of Mineral Nutrients. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol., 12 (3), 381-386.

Baxter I , Vitek O, Lahner B, Muthukumar B, Borghi M, Morrissey J, Guerinot ML, Salt DE. (2008) The leaf ionome as a multivariable system to detect a plant’s physiological status. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105(33):12081–12086.

Baxter I, Muthukumar B, Park HC, Buchner P, Lahner B, Danku J, Zhao K, Lee J, Hawkesford MJ, Guerinot ML, Salt DE. (2008) Variation in molybdenum content across broadly distributed populations of Arabidopsis thaliana is controlled by a novel mitochondrial molybdenum transporter (MOT1). PLoS Genet. 4(2):e1000004. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000004.

Last Updated: 4/2/2013 12:16:43 PM

The levels of elements in a given sample, tissue, or organism are highly interrelated.
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