The Lemnaceae are the smallest, fastest growing and simplest of flowering plants, representing an overlooked and potentially high-impact biofuel feedstock that is ripe for exploitation. Members of the family Lemnaceae are tiny aquatic monocots that range in size from 1.5 cm long (Spirodela polyrhiza) to less than a millimeter (Wolffia globosa). Many species are currently developed for industrial uses. For instance, the EPA uses Lemna minor to test water quality.
Our research is aimed at understanding i) how pluripotent meristematic cells are formed during development; ii) how meristem fate and organ initiation are regulated; iii) the role of the plant hormone auxin in shaping plant architecture and regulating meristem function (www.auxinevodevo.org); iv) the molecular mechanisms of plant domestication and evolution.
Cell polarity, in both animals and plants, is of paramount importance for many developmental and physiological processes.
Construction of a new state of the art Greenhouse facility started in late November 2005 and was completed by April 2006. The facility features 4,200 square feet of growing space divided into two rooms and the peaked roof structure is fourteen feet to the truss, to better enable the proper growth of corn plants. This replaced the earlier Waksman greenhouse that was originally constructed in 1986, featuring 3,600 square feet of growing space divided in six rooms and a roof structure with a height of 7.5 feet at the truss.
Selman Waksman Chair in Molecular Genetics, Director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, and Principal Investigator of Plant Genome Initiative Research project. The Messing lab would like to contribute to the understanding of the regulation of the expression of gene copies in plants. It is now apparent that many gene products are derived from multiple gene copies. If these copies arose recently, their sequences are quite conserved or similar so that it is becomes difficult to infer from gene products from which gene they are produced.
Research in the laboratory is addressing problems of plastid genetics, plastid transgene biosafety and biotechnological applications of plastid transformation. We use Nicotiana tabacum and its dipoloid progenitor Nicotiana sylvestris, Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula as model systems in our research.
Our lab performs studies on genome structure, homologous meiotic recombination, and functional genomics in maize. Transposons are the main consitutents of the maize genome.