Mark Lagrimini

Mark Lagrimini

Mark Lagrimini


B.S. in Biochemistry, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Iowa

Area of Focus

Plant Biotechnology

Research Interests

Research interests are in the area of agricultural biotechnology, and more specifically in the genetic modification of plants to improve yield potential, yield sustainability, and stress tolerance with an emphasis on drought tolerance. Much of our efforts focus on the rare disaccharide, trehalose, trehalose-6-phosphate, and the family of genes and respective enzymes in regards to the regulation of carbon flow and partitioning. We believe that the flow of carbon through the trehalose pathway regulates the movement of carbon between simple sugars and complex polysaccharides. An analogy would be a transistor where a small change in electrical potential can effect a large change in current flow. Our primary plant of interest is corn, but we also work with the model plant Arabidopsis, yeast, and bacteria. A second project is the continuation of previous research on plant peroxidases and their role in insect resistance. In this study we are attempting to identify which if any peroxidases in the bioenergy crop switchgrass is involved in conferring resistance to insect herbivory.



  • Dowd, PF and Lagrimini LM (2006). Examination of the biological effects of high anionic peroxidase production in tobacco plants grown under field conditions. I. Insect pest damage. Transgenic Research 15(2):197-204.
  • Hushpulian DM, Savitski PA, Rojkova AM, Chubar TA, Fechina VA, Sakharov IY, Lagrimini LM, Tishkov VI, Gazaryan IG. (2003). Expression and refolding of tobacco anionic peroxidase from E. coli inclusion bodies. Biochemistry (Mosc)68(11):1189-94.
  • Jansen MA, van den Noort RE, Tan MY, Prinsen E, Lagrimini LM, Thorneley RN. (2001). Phenol-oxidizing peroxidases contribute to the protection of plants from ultraviolet radiation stress. Plant Physiol. 126(3):1012-23.
  • Savitsky PA, Gazaryan IG, Tishkov VI, Lagrimini LM, Ruzgas T, Gorton L. (1999). Oxidation of indole-3-acetic acid by dioxygen catalysed by plant peroxidases: specificity for the enzyme structure. Biochem J. 340:579-83.
  • Dowd, L. M. and Lagrimini, L. M. (1998). Differential leaf resistance to insects of transgenic sweetgum (Liquidamber styraciflua) expressing tobacco anionic peroxidase. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 54:712-720.
  • Gazaryan, I. G., Lagrimini, L. M., Mellon, F. A., Naldrett, M. J., Ashby, G. A. and Thorneley, R. N. F. (1998). Identification of skatole hydroperoxide and its role in the peroxidase catalyzed oxidation of indole-3-acetic acid by dioxygen. Biochem. J. 333:323-332.
  • Klotz, K. L., Liu, T.-T. Y., Liu, L. and Lagrimini, L. M. (1998). Expression of the tobacco anionic peroxidase gene is tissue-specific and developmentally regulated. Plant Mol. Biol. 36:509-520.
  • Lagrimini, L. M., Gingas, V., and Finger, F, Rothstein, S. and Liu, T. Y. (1997). Characterization of antisense transformed plants deficient in the tobacco anionic peroxidase. Plant Physiol. 114: 1187-1196.
  • Lagrimini, L. M., Joly, R. J., Dunlap, J. R. and Liu, T-T. Y. (1997). The consequence of peroxidase overexpression in transgenic plants on root growth and development. Plant Mol. Biol. 33:887-895.
  • Klotz, K. L. and Lagrimini, L. M. (1996). Characterization of the expression of the tobacco anionic peroxidase gene. Plant Mol. Biol.31:561-573.
  • Gazaryan, I. G. and Lagrimini, L. M. (1996) Tobacco anionic peroxidase overexpressed in transgenic plants. II. Aerobic oxidation of indole-3-acetic acid. Phytochem. 42: 1271-1278.
  • Gazaryan, I. G. and Lagrimini, L. M. (1996) Tobacco anionic peroxidase overexpressed in transgenic plants. I. Purification and unusual kinetic properties. Phytochem. 41: 1029-1034.
  • Lagrimini, L. M., Rubihayo, P., Klotz, K., Vaughn, J., Berry, S. and Finer, J. M. (1992). Expres­sion of a tobacco peroxidase gene in transformed tomato plants. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 117:1012-1016.
  • Lagrimini, L. M. (1991). Wound-induced deposition of polyphenols in transgenic plants overexpressing peroxidase. Plant Physiol. 96:577-583.
  • Lagrimini, L. M., Bradford, S. and Rothstein, S. (1990). Peroxidase-induced wilting in transgenic tobacco plants. The Plant Cell 2:7-18.
  • Lagrimini, L. M., Burkhart, W. A., Moyer, M. B. and Rothstein, S. (1987). Molecular cloning of complementary DNA encoding the lignin-forming peroxidase from tobacco: Molecular analysis and tissue specific expression. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 84:7542-7546.

Selected Patents

  • Carter R, Nuccio MJ, Lagrimini LM Methods and Genetic Constructs for Modification of Lignin Composition of Corn Cobs. U.S. Patent Appl. 2010071092
  • Nuccio, L. M. and Lagrimini, LM Regulatory Sequences for Expressing Gene Products in Plant Reproductive Tissues. U.S. Patent Appl. 20070006344
  • Lagrimini, LM, Springer, N. and Nuccio, N. J. Stress Tolerance in Plants Through Selective Inhibition of Trehalose-6-Phosphate Phosphatase. (WO 2006/060376) U.S. PCT70503
  • Lagrimini, LM, Dowd, P., Privalle, L.S. and Estrus, J. (1999). Methods for Conferring Insect Resistance to a Monocot using a Peroxidase Coding Sequence. U.S. Patent No. 6,002,068