Interdisciplinary Life Science - PULSe Great research is a matter of choice

David Rhodes

David Rhodes Profile Picture

Professor-Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Ph.D., Manchester, 1976

Contact Info:

Training Group(s):
Integrative Plant Sciences

Current Research Interests:

Research interests are in plant metabolic adaptations to environmental stress, with particular emphasis on the biochemical genetics of quaternary ammonium and tertiary sulfonium compound synthesis. Quaternary ammonium and tertiary sulfonium compounds are thought to function as compatible cytoplasmic osmotic solutes, and may play a role in plant adaptation to salinity, drought, high temperature and cold temperature stresses. Genes encoding enzymes of quaternary ammonium and tertiary sulfonium compound synthesis are rational candidates for metabolic engineering of plant stress tolerance.

Current research in this laboratory is primarily focused on characterizing genes determining the synthesis of the quaternary ammonium compounds glycinebetaine and nicotinic acid betaine (trigonelline) in maize, elucidating the pathway of synthesis of the tertiary sulfonium compound 3-dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in marine algae and higher plants, and developing computer models for interpreting in vivo isotopic labeling data in plant metabolism. Recent emphasis is on analysis of labeling kinetics of intermediates in the pathways of biosynthesis of floral volatiles in snapdragon and petunia (collaboration with Natalia Dudareva).

Selected Publications:

Kaminaga, Y., Schnepp, J., Peel, G., Kish, C.M., Ben-Nissan, G., Weiss, D., Orlova, I., Lavie, O., Rhodes, D., Wood, K., Porterfield, D.M., Cooper, A.J., Schloss, J.V., Pichersky, E., Vainstein, A., Dudareva, N. 2006. Plant phenylacetaldehyde synthase is a bifunctional homotetrameric enzyme that catalyzes phenylalanine decarboxylation and oxidation. J. Biol. Chem. 281: 23357-23366.

Dudareva, N., Andersson, S., Orlova, I., Gatto, N., Reichelt, M., Rhodes, D., Boland, W., Gershenzon, J. 2005. The non-mevalonate pathway supports both monoterpene and sesquiterpene formation in snapdragon flowers. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102: 933-938.

Boatright, J., Negre, F., Chen, X., Kish, C.M., Wood, B., Peel, G., Orlova, I., Gang, D., Rhodes, D., Dudareva, N. 2004. Understanding in vivo benzenoid metabolism in petunia petal tissue. Plant Physiology 135: 1993-2011.

Rhodes, D., McNeil, S.D., Nuccio, M.L., Hanson, A.D. 2004. Metabolic engineering and flux analysis of glycine betaine synthesis in plants: progress and prospects. In (B.N. Kholodenko, H.V. Westerhoff, eds.) "Metabolic Engineering in the Post Genomic Era", Horizon Bioscience, Wymondham, Norfolk, U.K., pp. 409-434.

Rhodes, D., Peel, G.J., Dudareva N. 2004. Engineering pathways of secondary metabolism. In (R.M. Goodman, ed) "Encyclopedia of Plant and Crop Science", Marcel Dekker, N.Y, pp. 720-723.

Goyer, A., Johnson, T.L., Olsen, L.J., Collakova, E., Shachar-Hill, Y., Rhodes, D., Hanson, A.D. 2004. Characterization and metabolic function of a peroxisomal sarcosine and pipecolate oxidase from Arabidopsis. J. Biol. Chem. 279: 16947-16953.

Inan, G., Zhang, Q., Li, P., Wang, Z., Cao, Z., Zhang, H., Zhang, C., Quist, T.M., Goodwin, S.M., Zhu, J., Shi, H., Damsz, B., Charbaji, T., Gong, Q., Ma, S., Fredricksen, M., Galbraith, D.W., Jenks, M.A., Rhodes, D., Hasegawa, P.M., Bohnert, H.J., Joly, R.J., Bressan, R.A., Zhu, J.K. 2004. Salt cress. A halophyte and cryophyte Arabidopsis relative model system and its applicability to molecular genetic analyses of growth and development of extremophiles. Plant Physiol. 135: 1718-1737.

Rontein, D., Rhodes, D., Hanson, A.D. 2003. Evidence from engineering that decarboxylation of free serine is the major source of ethanolamine moieties in plants. Plant & Cell Physiology 44: 1185-1191.

Yang, W.-J., Rich, P.J., Axtell, J.D., Wood, K.V., Bonham, C.C., Ejeta, G., Mickelbart, M.V., Rhodes, D. 2003. Genotypic variation for glycinebetaine in sorghum. Crop Science 43: 162-169.

Mickelbart, M.V., Peel, G., Joly, R.J., Rhodes, D., Ejeta, G., Goldsbrough, P.B. 2003. Development and characterization of near-isogenic lines of sorghum segregating for glycinebetaine accumulation. Physiologia Plantarum 118: 253-261.

Kocsis, M.G., Ranocha, P., Gage, D.A., Simon, E.S., Rhodes, D., Peel, G.J., Mellema, S., Saito, K., Awazuhara, M., Li, C., Meeley, R.B., Tarczynski, M.C., Wagner, C., Hanson, A.D. 2003. Insertional inactivation of the methionine S-methyltransferase gene eliminates the S-methylmethionine cycle and increases the methylation ratio. Plant Physiology 131: 1808-1815.

Wood, K., Bonham, C.C., Miles, D., Rothwell, A.P., Peel, G., Wood, B.C., Rhodes, D. 2002. Characterization of betaine-analogs using electrospray MS/MS. Phytochemistry 59: 759-765.

Morgan JA, Rhodes D. 2002. Mathematical modeling of plant metabolic pathways. Metabolic Engineering 4: 80-89.

Fletcher SA, Rhodes D, Csonka LN. 2001. Analysis of the effects of osmoprotectants on the high osmolality-dependent induction of increased thermotolerance in Salmonella typhimurium. Food Microbiology 18: 345-354.

McNeil SD, Rhodes D, Russell BL, Nuccio ML, Shachar-Hill Y, Hanson AD. 2000. Metabolic modeling identifies key constraints on an engineered glycine betaine synthesis pathway in tobacco. Plant Physiology 124: 153-162.

Ranocha P, Bourgis F, Ziemak MJ, Rhodes D, Gage DA, Hanson AD. 2000. Characterization and functional expression of cDNAs encoding methionine-sensitive and -insensitive homocysteine S-methyltransferases from Arabidopsis. J. Biol. Chem. 275: 15962-15968.

Jenks MA, Rich PJ, Rhodes D, Ashworth EN, Axtell JD, Ding C-K. 2000. Leaf sheath cuticular waxes on bloomless and sparse-bloom mutants of Sorghum bicolor. Phytochemistry 54: 577-584.

McNeil SD, Nuccio ML, Rhodes D, Shachar-Hill Y, Hanson AD. 2000. Radiotracer and computer modeling evidence that phosphobase methylation is the main route of choline synthesis in tobacco. Plant Physiology 123: 371-380.

Joly RJ, Jones ML, Verlinden S, Rhodes D, Woodson WR. 2000. Learning in an inquiry-driven plant physiology laboratory. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education 29: 31-35.

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