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gravitropism, mechanotransduction, mechanosensitive ion channels, molecular genetics, organelle morphology

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249 McDonnell Hall



Research Abstract

Cells and organisms must sense and respond to mechanical forces generated outside the cell (shear force, gravity, touch) as well as inside the cell (osmotic pressure, membrane deformation). The Haswell lab is interested in how physical force is converted into a biochemical signal capable of altering the state of a cell. We are addressing this question in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, where a number of important mechanical signal transduction pathways have been characterized. We use an array of biochemical and molecular genetic approaches, electrophysiology, and state-of-the-art live imaging methodologies in our experiments. Three main lines of inquiry in the lab are:
1) functional characterization of a family of mechanosensitive ion channels related to the bacterial channel MscS;
2) genetic approaches to identifying new components of gravity and touch signal transduction pathways; and
3) investigation into the role played by mechanosensory systems in organelle shape and size determination.

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Elizabeth S. Haswell

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Mechanotransduction in plants and bacteria

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Date Last Updated

11/10/2011 3:43 PM


Wilson ME & Haswell ES.  A Role for Mechanosensitive Channels in Chloroplast and Bacterial Fission.  Plant Signaling and Behavior 2011 (In Press).
Maksaev G & Haswell ES.  Expression and Characterization of the Bacterial Mechanosensitive Channel MscS in Xenopus laevis Ooctyes.  Journal of General Physiology 2011 (In Press).
Haswell ES, Phillips R & Rees DC.  Mechanosensitive Channels: What Can They Do and How Do They Do It?  Structure 2011 19: 1356-1369.
Wilson ME, Jensen GS & Haswell ES. Two Mechanosensitive Channel Homologs Influence FtsZ Ring Placement in Arabidopsis.  The Plant Cell 2011 23:2 939-2949.
Peyronnet R, Haswell ES, Barbier-Brygoo H and Frachisse J-M. AtMSL9 and AtMSL10: Sensors of Plasma Membrane Tension in Arabidopsis Roots. Plant Signaling and Behavior 2008 3: 726-729.
Haswell ES*, Peyronnet* R, Barbier-Brygoo H, Meyerowitz EM and Frachisse J-M. Two MscS Homologues Required for Mechanosensitive Channel Activities in the Arabidopsis Root. Current Biology 2008 18: 730-734. *equal contribution
Haswell ES. MscS-like Proteins in Plants. Current Topics in Membranes 2007 58:329-359.
Haswell ES and Meyerowitz EM. MscS-like Proteins Control Plastid Size and Shape in Arabidopsis thaliana. Current Biology 2006 16:1-11.
Haswell ES. Gravity Perception: How Plants Stand up for Themselves. Current Biology 2003 13:R761-R763.

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Thumbnail_Image_Url Photos Thumbnail/Haswell_E.jpg

Profile_Image_Url Photos/Haswell_E.jpg

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Research Image Description

Abnormal FtsZ ring formation in Arabidopsis chloroplasts lacking functional mechanosensitive channels

Research Image Url Research Images/Elizabeth_Haswell_6112.jpg

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Created at 11/10/2011 3:43 PM by DBBS_SP_SAPP
Last modified at 11/11/2011 9:06 AM by Kathryn Ruzicka