Dr. Mary Tierney

Dr. Mary  Tierney
Associate Professor

 

Mechanisms for controlling cell function through ECM structure

The dynamic character of the plant cell wall provides a mechanism(s) by which plants selectively modify their extracellular matrix as a consequence of growth and differentiation. The process of cell wall assembly and metabolism contributes to changes in cell shape and function as well as defense strategies for combating biotic and abiotic stress essential for plant viability within their environment. We have previously characterized four proline-rich cell wall proteins (PRPs) in Arabidopsis using promoter/reporter gene fusions in transgenic plants and have shown that they are expressed in root hairs or guard cells. Genetic and cell biology analysis has shown that each of these proteins contribute uniquely to wall structures essential for root hair or guard cell function.

To further investigate the cellular mechanisms responsible for the PRP mutant phenotypes, we have used microarray analysis to characterize genes whose expression is altered in the prp3 root hair mutant. We have identified a number of genes involved in vesicle trafficking, transcriptional regulation and genome organization whose altered expression is linked to changes in cell wall structure. We are interested in characterizing the role of these genes in controlling cell wall structure and polarized growth in plants, using root hairs as a model system.

<a href="http://www.uvm.edu/cmb/wp-content/uploads/Tierney.png"><img src="http://www.uvm.edu/cmb/wp-content/uploads/Tierney.png" width="620" height="246" class="size-full wp-image-3133" /></a>
VTI13 is required for root hair growth and localized within the vacuole membrane and the trans-Golgi network in Arabidopsis.

A confocal image showing the intracellular localization of VTI13, a SNARE protein required for polarized growth in arabidopsis. VTI13 is found in both the vacuole membrane and in mobile compartments within growing cells.

A confocal image showing the intracellular localization of VTI13, a SNARE protein required for polarized growth in arabidopsis. VTI13 is found in both the vacuole membrane and in mobile compartments within growing cells.

Office:
313 Jeffords Hall
802-656-0434
Mary.Tierney@uvm.edu

Lab:
318 Jeffords Hall
802-656-0894
Lab Website

 

BACKGROUND

Dr. Tierney received her Ph.D. in Genetics under the direction of Karel Schubert at Michigan State University and then did postdoctoral research with Roger Beachy and Joseph Varner at Washington University. She was a faculty member at Ohio State before coming to the University of Vermont in 1992.

Mary was the Director of the CMB Program from July 2009- June 2013.

Courses Taught: Ethics in Graduate Research (PBIO 295); Introduction to Botany (PBIO 004); Genetics (BCOR 101); Cell & Molecular Biology (CMB 302); Graduate Seminar (MMG 310)

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Larson ER, Tierney, ML, Tinaz B, Domozych DS (2014) Using monoclonal antibodies to label living root hairs: a novel tool for studying cell wall microarchitecture and dynamics in Arabidopsis. Plant Methods. doi:10.1186/1746-4811-10-30

Larson, ER, Domozych DS, Tierney, ML (2014) SNARE VTI13 plays a unique role in endosomal trafficking pathways associated with the vacuole and is essential for cell wall organization and root hair growth in Arabidopsis. Annals of Botany (in press)

Hu, J., Tierney, M.L. AtPRP3 protein localizes to the cell wall of the growing tip of root hairs in Arabidopsis. (in revision)

Mohnen D and Tierney ML (2011) Plant science. Plants get Hyp to O-glycosylation. Science. 332:1393-1394.