The Dawe LabThe Dawe Lab

  • Our Group

    The Dawe Lab is currently comprised of two postdoctoral fellows (Jonathan and Natalie), four graduate students (Nate, Elizabeth, Caroline, and David) and three undergraduate student (Amy, Matthew, and Sean). Click above to learn more about our individual research interests.

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    Paris Johnson – Visiting Student

    In the summer of 2013, the Dawe Lab hosted Paris Johnson, an undergraduate from Fort Valley State University.

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    Genetics

    Corn is widely used to study and illustrate mendelian traits.  In corn, purple kernels are dominant over yellow kernels, and full kernels are dominant over shrunken kernels. There are four grain phenotypes in the above ear of genetic corn: Purple & Smooth, Purple & Shrunken, Yellow & Smooth and Yellow & Shrunken.

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    Maize (Zea mays L.)

    A diploid organism with 10 large chromosome pairs, corn is easily studied with the microscope. Its genetic features, including many known and mapped phenotypic mutants and a large number of progeny per cross (typically 100-200) facilitate the study of genetics and cell biology.

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    Mitosis

    Immunofluorescence images from barley root tips (Han Zhang). Plant kinetochores appear to initiate their own kinetochore fibers early in prometaphase, either by directly nucleating microtubules or promoting microtubule growth in their vicinity. Chromosomes are shown in blue, spindles (tubulin) in red and kinetochore (CENH3) in green.

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    Meiotic Drive

    Meotic drive describes a variety of phenomena that “beat Mendel’s rules” and cause the preferential segregation of alleles or haplotypes to the next generation. These ears are testcrosses showing how abnormal chromosome 10 (linked to yellow kernel color) is transmitted to progeny at higher frequencies than expected ratio of 1 :1.

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    Arabidopsis thaliana

    A spring annual with a relatively short life cycle, Arabidopsis is popular as a model organism in plant biology and genetics. Arabidopsis thaliana has a rather small genome. Arabidopsis is a popular tool for understanding the molecular biology of many plant traits, including flower development.

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    A tissue-specific RNA interference strategy

    Our lab developed a visual method to test the tissue specificity of the petal-specific RNAi system (Brunie Burgos). This system is useful for studying the functions of essential genes like those involved in kinetochore assembly and chromosome movement.