Main research interests
My laboratory uses molecular genetic analysis of the seed coat epidermal cells of Arabidopsis thaliana as a model to investigate plant cell wall biosynthesis, structure and function. The seed coat is a specialized tissue derived from ovule integuments. In some species, including Arabidopsis thaliana, large quantities of polysaccharide mucilage and cellulosic secondary cell wall are produced by seed-coat epidermal cells at specific times during differentiation. Because these secondary cell wall structures are not required for seed viability, the Arabidopsis seed coat epidermal cells represent a unique dispensable tissue that can be used to identify genes involved in complex polysaccharide biosynthesis and secretion.
Selection of 3 major recent publications
Griffiths, J.S., A. Y.-L. Tsai, H. Xue, , C. Voiniciuc, K. Šola, G.J. Seifert, S.D. Mansfield and G.W. Haughn. 2014. SOS5 mediates Arabidopsis seed coat mucilage adherence and organization through pectins. Plant Physiol. 165: 991-1004.
Voiniciuc C., G.H. Dean, J.S. Griffiths, K. Kirchsteiger, Y-T. Hwang, A. Gillett, G. Dow, T.L. Western, M. Estelle, and G.W. Haughn. 2013. FLYING SAUCER1 Is a Transmembrane RING E3 Ubiquitin Ligase That Regulates the Degree of Pectin Methylesterification in Arabidopsis Seed Mucilage. Plant Cell 25: 944-959.
Haughn, G.W. and T.L. Western. 2012. Arabidopsis seed coat mucilage is a specialized cell wall that can be used as a model for genetic analysis of plant cell wall structure and function. Frontiers in Plant Science 3:64.
Department of Botany
University of British Columbia
6270 University Blvd.