Brian M. Waters Assistant Professor
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Area of Focus
Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Molecular Physiology
- B.S. Agronomy, Missouri State University, 1993
- M.S. Agronomy (Plant Physiology), University of Missouri, 1996
- Ph.D. Agronomy and Nutritional Sciences (Plant Molecular Biology), University of Missouri, 2002
Acidic or alkaline soils occur on most of the earth, and these conditions limit mineral nutrient availability to plants. Plant-based foods are a primary source of human nutrition that is typically at suboptimal mineral density. My research focus is in plant nutritional physiology and molecular genetics, and seeks to gain a mechanistic understanding of how plants respond to mineral nutrient limitation, the physiological processes that move minerals from the soil, through the plant, and into the edible portions, and to determine which genes or gene products carry out or regulate these processes. Research areas in the lab include regulation of plant responses to iron deficiency stress, biofortification of crops by increasing mineral density in edible portions of plants, control of carotenoid accumulation and other quality traits in melon (Cucumis melo) fruit, and nutrient use efficiency. Our approach combines traditional plant physiology with molecular biology, genomics, genetics, and use of natural variation.
Major Project Activities
- Regulation of mineral deficiency stress responses.
- Mineral partitioning dynamics and regulation of gene activity over the plant life cycle.
- QTL mapping of biofortification related traits.
- Expression profiling of genes involved in mineral remobilization during leaf senescence and translocation to seeds during seed fill.
- Waters BM and Sankaran RP (2011) Moving micronutrients from the soil to the seeds: Genes and physiological processes from a biofortification perspective. Plant Science 180: 562-574
- Waters BM, Uauy C, Dubcovsky J, Grusak MA (2009) Wheat (Triticum aestivum) NAM proteins regulate the translocation of iron, zinc, and nitrogen compounds from vegetative tissues to grain. Journal of Experimental Botany 60: 4263-4274
- Waters BM and Grusak MA (2008) Quantitative trait locus mapping for seed mineral concentrations in two Arabidopsis thaliana recombinant inbred line populations. New Phytologist 179: 1033-1047
- Waters BM and Grusak MA (2008) Whole-plant mineral partitioning throughout the life cycle in the ecotypes Columbia, Landsberg erecta, Cape Verde Islands, and the mutant line ysl1ysl3 of Arabidopsis thaliana. New Phytologist 177: 389-405
- Waters BM, Lucena C, Romera FJ, Jester GG*, Wynn AN*, Rojas, CL, Alcántara E, Pérez-Vicente R (2007) Ethylene involvement in the regulation of the H+-ATPase (CsHA1) gene and of the ferric reductase (CsFRO1) and the iron transporter (CsIRT1) genes isolated from cucumber plants. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 45: 293-301 (* = undergraduate author)
- Lucena C, Waters BM, Romera FJ, Garcia MJ, Morales M, Alcántara E, Pérez-Vicente R (2006) Ethylene could influence ferric reductase, iron transporter and H+-ATPase gene expression by affecting FER (or FER-like) gene activity. Journal of Experimental Botany 57: 4145-4154
- Waters BM, Chu HH, DiDonato RJ, Roberts LA, Eisley RB, Lahner B, Salt DE, Walker EL (2006) Mutations in Arabidopsis Yellow Stripe-Like1 and Yellow Stripe-Like3 reveal their roles in metal ion homeostasis and loading of metal ions in seeds. Plant Physiology 141: 1446-1458
- Waters BM and Eide DJ (2002) Combinatorial control of yeast FET4 gene expression by iron, zinc, and oxygen. Journal of Biological Chemistry 277: 33749-33757
- Waters BM, Blevins DG, and Eide DJ (2002) Characterization of FRO1, a pea ferric-chelate reductase involved in root iron acquisition. Plant Physiology 129: 85-94
- Waters BM and Blevins DG (2000) Ethylene production, cluster root formation, and localization of iron(III) reducing capacity in Fe deficient squash roots. Plant and Soil 225: 21-31