Christopher N. Topp, Ph.D.

Assistant Member
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Adjunct Professor

Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program
Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Program

  • 314-587-1401

  • 1137


  • imaging; plant; genetics; computation; phenotyping; roots; plant x environment

  • Subterranean phenotyping and characterizing the environmental and genetic factors that condition root growth

Research Abstract:

The Topp Lab takes a phenomics approach to study crop root growth dynamics in response to environmental stress such as drought and rhizosphere competition, and as a consequence of artificial selection for agronomically important traits such as Nitrogen uptake. Studying roots requires the development of imaging technologies, computational infrastructure, and statistical methods that can capture and analyze morphologically complex networks over time and at high-throughput. Thus the lab combines expertise in imaging (optical, X-ray CT, PET, etc.), computational analysis, and quantitative genetics with molecular biology to understand root growth and physiology.

Selected Publications:

Mao Li; Keith Duncan; Christopher N Topp; Daniel H Chitwood (in proofs). Persistent homology and the branching topologies of plants. American Journal of Botany.

Agnew, E.*, Bray, A.*, Floro, E.*, Ellis, N., Gierer, J., Lizárraga, C., O`Brien, D., Wiechert, M., Mockler, T.C., Shakoor, N., and Topp, C.N. 2017. Whole-plant manual and image-based phenotyping in controlled environments. Curr. Protoc. Plant Biol. 2:1-21. doi: 10.1002/cppb.20044

Christopher N. Topp; Adam L. Bray; Nathanael A. Ellis; Zhengbin Liu (2016). How can we harness quantitativegenetic variation in crop root system architecture for agricultural improvement? Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. DOI:10.1111/jipb.12470

Symonova, O., Topp, C. N., & Edelsbrunner, H. (2015). DynamicRoots: A Software Platform for the Reconstruction and Analysis of Growing Plant Roots. PloS One, 10(6), e0127657.

*Chitwood, D. H., & *Topp, C. N. (2015). Revealing plant cryptotypes: defining meaningful phenotypes among infinite traits. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 24, 54–60.

Topp, C.N., Iyer-Pascuzzi, A.S., Anderson, J.T., Lee, C.-R., Zurek, P.R., Symonova, O., Zheng, Y., Bucksch, A., Mileyko, Y., Galkovskyi, T., Moore, B.T., Harer, J., Edelsbrunner, H., Mitchell-Olds, T., Weitz, J.S., and Benfey, P.N. (2013). 3D phenotyping and quantitative trait locus mapping identify core regions of the rice genome controlling root architecture. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110: E1695-704.

Galkovskyi T., Mileyko Y., Bucksch A., Moore B., Symonova O., Price C.A., Topp C.N., Iyer-Pascuzzi A.S., Zurek P.R., Fang S., Harer J., Benfey P.N., Weitz J.S. (2012) GiA Roots: software for the high throughput analysis of plant root system architecture. BMC Plant Biology, 12:116.

Topp, C.N., Benfey P.N. (2011). Growth Control of Root Architecture. In Plant Biotechnology and Agriculture: Prospects for the 21st Century. Eds. Altman, A. and Hasegawa, P.M.

Gent I.J., Schneider, K.L., Topp, C.N., Rodriquez, C., Presting, G.G., Dawe, R.K. (2011) Distinct influences of tandem repeats and retrotransposons on CENH3 nucleosome positioning. Epigenetics and Chromatin. Feb 25; 4:3.

Du, Y., Topp C.N., Dawe R.K. (2010) DNA binding of centromere protein C (CENPC) is stabilized by single-stranded RNA. PLoS Genetics. Feb 5; 6(2):e1000835.

Last Updated: 3/7/2017 9:33:42 AM

X-ray CT scanned maize root crowns demonstrating distinct architectures
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