Mark Lagrimini

Mark Lagrimini

Mark Lagrimini

Emeritus Research Professor

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.



  • Bledsoe SW, Clémence H, Griffiths CA, Paul MJ, Feil R, Lunn J, Stitt M, Lagrimini LM (2017) The role of Tre6P and SnRK1 in maize early embryo development and events leading to stress-induced kernel abortion. BMC Plant Biology 17:74. DOI 10.1186/s12870-017-1018-2.
  • Jafarikouhinia N, Kazemeinia SA, Ghadiria H, Lagrimini LM (2017) Examination of Photosynthetic Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Field-Grown Sweet corn (Zea mays L var merit) Under Water and Nitrogen Stress. Maydica 61.4. Online:
  • Nuccio ML, Wu J, Mowers R, Zhou H-P, Meghji M, Primavesi LF, Paul MJ, Chen X, Gao Y, Haque E, Basu SS, Lagrimini LM (2015) Expression of trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase in maize ears improves yield in well-watered and drought conditions. Nature Biotechnology 33: 862-869.
  • Henry CH, Bledsoe SW, Griffiths CA, Kollman A, Paul MJ, Sakr S, Lagrimini LM (2015) Differential role for trehalose metabolism in salt-stressed maize. Plant Physiology 169: 1072-1089.
  • Henry CH, Bledsoe SW, Siekman A, Kollman A, Waters B, Feil R, Stitt M, Lagrimini LM (2014) The Trehalose Pathway in Maize: Conservation and Gene Regulation in Response to Diurnal Cycle and Extended Darkness. Journal of Experimental Botany 65(20): 5959-5973.
  • Saathoff AJ, Donze-Reiner T, Palmer N, Bradshaw J, Heng-Moss T, Twigg P, Tobias C, Lagrimini LM, Sarath G. (2013) Towards uncovering the roles of switchgrass peroxidases in plant processes. Frontiers in Plant Science 4: 202.
  • Husjpulian, DM, Poloznikov, AA, Savitski, PA, Rozhkova, AM, Chubar, TA, Fechina, Orlova, MA, Tishkov, VI, Gazaryan, IG and Lagrimini, LM (2007). Glutamic acid-141: a heme ‘bodyguard’ in anionic tobacco peroxidase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 388: 373-380.
  • 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