Sharon Kessler

Sharon Kessler Profile Picture

Assistant Professor, Botany and Plant Pathology

Contact Info: 
(765) 494-8330

Training Group(s):
Plant Biology

Active Mentor - currently hosting PULSe students for laboratory rotations and recruiting PULSe students into the laboratory; serves on preliminary exam committees

Current Research Interests:

The Kessler Lab studies the molecular mechanisms that control pollination.  Our main focus is cell-cell communication between the male and female tissues, specifically how do the female cells known as the synergids “talk” to the pollen and tell it to burst and release the sperm cells so that double fertilization can occur to produce viable seeds.  We are also interested in a plant-specific family of 7 transmembrane proteins called MLOs which play a role in various signaling processes ranging from pollen tube reception to pathogen infection.  We are trying to assign functions to the 15 members of this large gene family and suspect that some of them play roles in earlier stages of intercellular signaling during reproductive development.  We use genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, and live imaging in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to study these important signaling molecules.

Selected Publications:

Jones, D. S., Yuan, J., Smith, B., Day, P. B., Kumimoto, E., and Kessler, S. A.  MLO-mediated pollen tube reception requires localization to a Golgi-associated compartment in synergid cells prior to pollen tube arrival. Submitted April, 2017.

Lindner, H., Kessler, S. A., Mueller, L. M., Shimasoto-Asano, H., Boisson-Dernier, A., and Grossniklaus, U.  (2015). TURAN and EVAN Mediate Pollen Tube Reception in Arabidopsis Synergids through Protein Glycosylation.  PLOS Biology, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002139.

Kessler, S. A.*, Lindner, H., Jones, D.S., and Grossniklaus, U.* (2014). Functional analysis of related CrRLK1L receptor‐like kinases in pollen tube reception.  EMBO Reports 16:107-115. * Corresponding Authors

Kessler, S. A.* and Grossniklaus, U.  (2011). She's the boss: signaling in pollen tube reception.  Current Opinion in Plant Biology 14:622-627.  * Corresponding Author.

Boisson-Dernier, A.**, Kessler, S.** and Grossniklaus, U.  (2010). The walls have ears: the role of plant CrRLK1Ls in extracellular signal sensing and propagation. The Journal of Experimental Botany 62:1581-91. **equal contribution.

Kessler, S. A., Shimosato-Asano, H., Keinath, N.F., Wuest S.E., Ingram, G., Panstruga, R., and Grossniklaus, U. (2010). Conserved molecular components for pollen tube reception and fungal invasion. Science, 330:968-971.

Keinath, N.F., Kiersniowska, S., Lorek, J. Bourdais, G., Kessler, S., Shimosato-Asano, H., Grossniklaus, U., Schulze, W., Robatzek, S., and Panstruga, R. (2010). PAMP (Pathogen-associated Molecular Pattern)-induced changes in plasma membrane compartmentalization reveal novel components of plant immunity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285: 39140-39149.

Escobar-Restrepo, J.M.**, Huck, N.**, Kessler, S., Gagliardini, V., Gheyselinck, J., Yang, W.C., and Grossniklaus, U.  (2007).  The FERONIA receptor-like kinase mediates male-female interactions during pollen tube reception.  Science, 317:656-660. **co-first authors

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