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

  • Danforth Plant Science Center

  • ibaxter@danforthcenter.org

  • https://www.baxterlab.org

  • https://twitter.com/BaxterTwi

  • 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.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
The Baxter lab seeks to work cooperatively, actively attempting to fight racism and misogyny, supporting the scientific training of lab members and members of the community.

Selected Publications:

Baxter I (2020). We aren’t good at picking candidate genes, and it’s slowing us down. Curr Opin Plant Biol, 54:57–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbi.2020.01.006

Baxter I (2015). Should we treat the ionome as a combination of individual elements, or should we be deriving novel combined traits? Journal of Experimental Botany doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv040Baxter I. (2009) Studying the Social Network of Mineral Nutrients. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol., 12 (3), 381-386.

Baxter I. (2010) Ionomics: The functional genomics of elements. Brief Funct Genomic Proteomic 9 (2), 149-56.
Asaro A, Dilkes B, Baxter I. Multivariate analysis reveals environmental and genetic determinants of element covariation in the maize grain ionome. Plant Direct. 2019. doi: 10.1002/pld3.139.

Original Research
Ziegler G, Kear P, Wu D, Ziyomo C, Lipka A, Gore M, Hoekenga O, Baxter I. Elemental accumulation in kernels of the maize nested association mapping panel reveals signals of gene by environment interactions. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/164962. BioRxiv.

Ellsworth P, Feldman M, Baxter I, Cousins A. A genetic link between whole-plant water use efficiency and leaf carbon isotope composition in the C4 grass Setaria. The Plant Journal. Published January 2020. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14696.

Schaefer RJ, Michno J-M, Jeffers J, Hoekenga O, Dilkes B, Baxter I, Myers C. Integrating co-expression networks with GWAS to prioritize causal genes in maize. The Plant Cell. 2018. doi: 10.1105/tpc.18.00299.

Feldman MJ, Ellsworth PZ, Fahlgren N, Gehan MA, Cousins AB, Baxter I. Components of water use efficiency have unique genetic signatures in the model C4 grass Setaria. Plant Physiology. 2018. doi: 10.1104/pp.18.00146.
Kohler I, Huber S, Bernacchi C, Baxter I. Increased temperatures may safeguard the nutritional quality of crops under future elevated CO2 concentrations. The Plant Journal. 2018. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14166.

Addo-Quaye C, Buescher E, Chaikam V, Best N, Baxter I, Dilkes B. Forward genetics by sequencing EMS variation induced inbred lines. G3: GENES, GENOMES, GENETICS. 2017. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.029660.

Asaro, AB, Ziegler GR, Ziyomo C, Hoekenga OA, Dilkes BP, Baxter I. The interaction of genotype and environment determines variation in the maize kernel ionome. G3: GENES, GENOMES, GENETICS. 2016. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.034827.

Flores-Ramirez MR, Rellan-Alvarez R, Wozniak B, Gebreselassie M-N, Jakobsen I, Olalde-Portugal V, Baxter I, Paszkowski U, Sawers R. Coordinated changes in the accumulation of metal ions in maize (Zea mays ssp. may L.) in response to inoculation with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Funneliformis mosseae. Plant and Cell Physiology. 2017. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcx100.

Feldman MJ, Paul RE, Banan D, Barrett JF, Sebastian J, Yee M, Jiang H, Lipka AE , Brutnell TP, Dinneny JR, Leakey ADB, Baxter I. Time dependent genetic analysis links field and controlled environment phenotypes in the model C4 grass Setaria. PLOS Genetics. 2017. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006841.

Pauli D, Ziegler G, Ren M, Jens MA, Hunsaker DJ, Zhang M, Baxter I, Gore MA. Multivariate analysis of the cotton seed ionome reveals integrated genetic signatures of abiotic stress response. G3: GENES, GENOMES, GENETICS. 2018. doi: 10.1534/g3.117.300479.

*Fahlgren N, *Feldman M, *Gehan MA, *Wilson MS, *Shyu C, Bryant DW, Hill ST, McEntee CJ, Warnasooriya SN, Kumar I, Ficor T, Turnipseed S, Gilbert KB, Brutnell TP, Carrington JC, Mockler TC, Ivan Baxter, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, United States (NF, MF, MAG, MSW, CS, DWB, STH, CJM, SW, IK, TF, ST, KBG, TPB, JCC, and TCM); USDA-ARS, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, United States (IB). A versatile phenotyping system and analytics platform reveals diverse temporal responses to water limitation in Setaria. MolecularPlant. 2015. doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2015.06.005.

Ziegler GR, Hartsock RH, Baxter I. Zbrowse: an interactive GWAS results browser. PeerJ Computer Science. 2015. doi: 10.7717/peerj-cs.3.

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.

Last Updated: 9/19/2021 9:35:52 PM

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