Ayre Lab: Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Signaling | Department of Biological Sciences

Ayre Lab: Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Signaling

Teaching Summary:
Current Topics in Plant Biology (BIOL 5680) seminar / research course
Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology (BIOC 6650) graduate level only
Plant Physiology (BIOL 4503/5503) suitable for juniors, seniors and grad students
Principles of Biology (BIOL 1720/1722) botany and ecology sections
Plants and Society (BIOL 3670) suitable for sophomores, juniors and seniors
(If you are looking for course material, go to https://learn.unt.edu)
Graduate and undergraduate research opportunities available: click here and inquire

Research Summary:
Research in my laboratory revolves around the phloem transport system of plants and how it functions as a whole-plant communication network to enable disparate organs to function as an integrated complete organism. Within this broad context, we have projects in two main areas: 1) The role of the phloem in coordinating carbon metabolism and nutrient utilization between photosynthetic source leaves and heterotrophic sink organs and 2) the role of the phloem in transporting signaling molecules from leaves to growing tissues to mediate source control of sink growth and development. Together, these trajectories contribute to our understanding of how plants control biomass partitioning and growth patterns on a whole-plant level. We approach our questions with modern tools in biochemistry, molecular biology and plant biotechnology, but always retain sight of the whole organism in our answers.

Our laboratory is part of UNT's "Signaling Mechanism in Plants" and "Renewable Bioproducts" research clusters, which draw upon existing and emerging strengths in physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, genomics, metabolomics and informatics to study how plants use a complex array signals in their growth, development, and responses to the environment.

Professional Experience:
2010-present: Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, University of North Texas
2012 (7 mo): Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Dept of Metabolic Networks (AG Stitt), Potsdam-Golm, Germany
2003-2010: Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, University of North Texas
1998-2003: Research Associate, Dept of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
1995-1998: Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England
1989-1995: PhD, Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Alberta, Canada
1985-1989: BSc, Genetics, University of Manitoba, Canada

Representative Manuscripts:

  1. McGarry RC, Klocko AL, Pang M, Strauss SH, Ayre BG (2017) Virus-induced flowering: An application of reproductive biology to benefit plant research and breeding. Plant Physiology 173: 47-55, doi:10.1104/pp.16.01336.
  2. McGarry RC, Prewitt SF, Culpepper S, Eshed Y, Lifschitz E, Ayre BG (2016) Monopodial and sympodial branching architecture in cotton is differentially regulated by the Gossypium hirsutum SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS and SELF-PRUNING orthologs. New Phytologist; 212: 244-258, doi: 10.1111/nph.14037.
  3. Khadilkar AS, Yadav UP, Salazar C, Shulaev V, Paez-Valencia J, Pizzio GA, Gaxiola RA, Ayre BG (2016) Constitutive and companion cell-specific overexpression of AVP1, encoding a proton-pumping pyrophosphatase, enhances biomass accumulation, phloem loading and long-distance transport. Plant Physiology; 170: 401-414. doi: 10.1104/pp.15.01409.
  4. Yadav UP, Ayre BG, Bush DR (2015) Transgenic approaches to altering carbon and nitrogen partitioning in whole plants: Assessing the potential to improve crop yields and nutritional quality. Frontiers in Plant Science 66: 275 (1-13). doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00275.
  5. Pizzio GA, Paez-Valencia J, Khadilkar AS, Regmi K, Patron-Soberano A, Zhang S, Sanchez-Lares J, Furstenau T, Li J, Sanchez-Gomez C, Valencia-Mayoral P, Yadav UP, Ayre BG, Gaxiola RA (2015) Arabidopsis type I proton-pumping pyrophosphatase expresses strongly in phloem, where it is required for pyrophosphate metabolism and photosynthate partitioning. Plant Physiology167: 1541-1553. doi: 10.1104/ pp.114.254342.
  6. Lifschitz E, Ayre BG, Eshed Y (2014) Florigen and anti-florigen - a systemic mechanism for coordinating growth and termination in flowering plants.Frontiers in Plant Science 5:465 (pg. 1-14) doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00465.
  7. Dasgupta K, Khadilkar AS, Sulpice R, Pant B, Scheible W-R, Fisahn J, Stitt M, Ayre BG (2014). Expression of sucrose transporter cDNAs specifically in companion cells enhances phloem loading and long-distance transport of sucrose but leads to an inhibition of growth and the perception of a phosphate limitation. Plant Physiology 165, 715-731. doi:10.1104/pp.114.238410.
  8. Gaxiola RA, Sanchez CA, Paez-Valencia J, Ayre BG, Elser JJ, 2012. Genetic manipulation of a "vacuolar" H+-PPase: From salt tolerance to yield enhancement under phosphorus-deficient soils. Plant Physiology 159: 3-11
  9. McGarry RC, Ayre BG (2012) Geminivirus-mediated delivery of florigen promotes determinate growth in aerial organs and uncouples flowering from photoperiod in cotton. PLoS One 7: e36746, pg 1-10
  10. Zhang C, Yu X, Ayre BG, Turgeon R (2012) The origin and composition of cucurbit phloem exudate. Plant Physiology 158:1873-1182
  11. Ayre BG (2011) Membrane-transport systems for sucrose in relation to whole-plant carbon partitioning. Molecular Plant, 4: 377-394
  12. Srivastava AC, Ganesan S, Ismail IO, Ayre BG (2008) Functional characterization of the Arabidopsis thaliana AtSUC2 Suc/H+ symporter by tissue-specific complementation reveals an essential role in phloem loading but not in long-distance transport. Plant Physiology, 148: 200-211.

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