Images of the people and projects in my lab
(1987) Rutgers University
Areas of Expertise
Cell biology, gravitropism in higher and lower plants, space biology, phototropism, ultrastructure, and cryotechniques in electron microscopy
Plants rely on sophisticated mechanisms to interpret the constant bombardment of incoming signals so they can adjust their growth accordingly. The environmental cues of gravity and light are particularly important in terms of plant development. In my laboratory, we are interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of gravitropism and phototropism (directed growth in response to gravity and light, respectively). In the gravitropism project, we have been studying how statoliths (structures that function in graviperception) interact with the cytoskeleton in gravitropic signal transduction. In terms of phototropism, we have been examining the role of the photosensitive pigment phytochrome in the regulation of this process in both roots and stem-like organs.
Our experiments on gravitropism have been part of a spaceflight project on the Space Shuttle, and we have additional experiments in development for the International Space Station. Some of our research also involves the use of the The Center for Advanced
Microscopy & Imaging at Miami University at Miami University. Most recently, we have been using microarray technology to analyze gene expression profiles during various tropisms. Our long-term goals include understanding of how plants integrate sensory input from multiple light and gravity perception systems.
Kiss J.Z., K.D.L. Millar, P. Kumar, R.E. Edelmann, M.J. Correll. 2011. Improvements in the re-flight of spaceflight experiments on plant tropisms. Advances in Space Research 47:545-552.
Millar K.D.L., P. Kumar, M.J. Correll, J.L. Mullen, R.P. Hangarter, R.E. Edelmann, J.Z. Kiss. 2010. A novel phototropic response to red light is revealed in microgravity. New Phytologist 186:648-656.
Molas M.L., J.Z. Kiss. 2009. Phototropism and gravitropism in plants. Advances in Botanical Research 49:1-34.
Molas M.L., J.Z. Kiss. 2008. PKS1 plays a role in red-light-based positive phototropism in roots. Plant Cell Environment 31:842-849.
Kumar N.S., M.H.H. Stevens, J.Z. Kiss. 2008. Plastid movement in statocytes of the arg1 (altered response to gravity) mutant. American Journal of Botany 95:177-184.
Kiss J.Z. 2007. Where's the water? Hydrotropism in plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 104: 4247-4248.
Molas M.L., J.Z. Kiss, M.J. Correll. 2006. Gene profiling of the red-light signaling pathways in roots. Journal of Experimental Botany 57:3217-3229.
Palmieri M., J.Z. Kiss. 2005. Disruption of the F-actin cytoskeleton limits statolith movement in Arabidopsis hypocotyls. Journal of Experimental Botany 56: 2539-2550.