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

Daniel Szymanski

Daniel Szymanski Profile Picture

Associate Professor of Agronomy
Ph.D. - 1995 - University of Illinois

Contact Info:

Training Group(s):
Integrative Plant Sciences
Computational and Systems Biology
Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology

Current Research Interests:

The organization of the microtubule and actin filament cytoskeleton arrays plays an important role in defining cell shape and tissue development. However, there is very little mechanistic understanding of how the cytoskeleton is organized and regulated. For example, how do hormonal signals lead to cytoskeletal re-organization and a polarized growth response? What cellular intermediaries define cytoskeletal organization? The long-term goal of my research is to develop a mechanistic understanding of the relationship between cell signaling, cytoplasmic organization, and the complex architecture of plant cells, tissues, and organs.

Arabidopsis leaf epidermal development is being used as an experimental model to better understand morphogenesis control. The leaf epidermis contains several highly polarized cell types that display unique responses to microtubule and microfilament disrupting agents. Therefore it has been possible to selectively screen for mutations that affect the cytoskeleton. For example, disruption of the SPIKE1 gene causes defects in actin organization, cell shape, the ability of cells to adhere to one another. SPIKE1 positively regulates a RAC small GTPase signaling cascade that leads to ARP2/3-dependent actin filament nucleation and cell growth. Our lab is using modern molecular genetic, biochemical, and live-cell imaging tools in order to understand how cells generate RAC signals and convert them into a coordinated growth response.

Selected Publications:

Delbaltov, D., Gaur, U., Kim, J., Kourakis, M., Newman-Smith, E., Belteton, S., Smith, W., Szymanski, D.B., and Manjunath, B.S 2016 CellEct: Cell Evolution Capturing Tool. BMC Bioinformatics. 17:88.

Wu, T.-Z., Belteton, S., Lunsford, J., Szymanski, D.B., Umulis, D.B. (provisional acceptance) Breakthrough Technologies: Quantitative image analysis of pavement cell morphogenesis with LobeFinder. Plant Physiol.

Yanagisawa, M., Desyatova, A.D., Belteton, S.A., Mallery, E.L., Turner, J.A., and Szymanski, D.B. 2015 Patterning mechanisms of cytoskeletal and cell wall systems during leaf trichome morphogenesis. Nat. Plants 1: 15014.

Aryal, U.K., Xiong, Y., McBride, Z., Kihara, D., Xie, J., Hall, M.C., and Szymanski, D.B. 2014 A proteomic strategy for global analysis of plant protein complexes. Plant Cell 26: 3867-3882.

Cai, C., Henty-Ridilla, J.L., Szymanski, D.B., and Staiger, C.J. 2014 Arabidopsis myosin XI: a motor rules the tracks. Plant Physiol. 166: 1359-1370.

6. Jimenez-Lopez, J.C., Wang, X., Kotchoni, S.O., Huang, S., Szymanski, D.B., and Staiger, C.J. 2014 Heterodimeric capping protein from Arabidopsis is a membrane-associated, actin-binding protein. Plant Physiol. 166: 1312-1328.

Zhang, C., Mallery, E.L., and Syzmanski, D.B. 2013 ARP2/3 localization in Arabidopsis leaf pavement cells: a diversity of intracellular pools and cytoskeletal interactions. Front. Plant Sci. 4: 238.

Zhang, C., Mallery, E., Reagan, S., Boyko, V.P, Kotchoni, S.O., and Szymanksi, D.B. 2013 The endoplasmic reticulum is a reservoir for WAVE/SCAR regulatory complex signaling in the Arabidopsis leaf. Plant Physiol. 162: 689-706.

Yanagisawa, M., Zhang, C., and Szymanski, D.B. 2013 ARP2/3-dependent growth in the plant kingdom: SCARS for life. Front. Plant Sci. 4: 166.

Zhang, C., Halsey, L.E., and Szymanski, D.B. 2011 The development and geometry of shape change in Arabidopsis thaliana cotyledon pavement cells. BMC Plant Biol. 11: 27

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