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Jeanne M. Harris

Jeanne HarrisAssociate Professor of Plant Biology

Ph.D. 1996, University of California, San Francisco

Email: Jeanne.Harris@uvm.edu

Phone: 802-656-2933

Office: 315 Jeffords Hall

Research Area: signaling networks, developmental genetics, plant-microbe interactions

Courses Taught: Plant Physiology (PBIO 104); Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (PBIO 295); Plant Developmental Genetics (PBIO 295)

Medicago truncatula

Summary of Research Program

Plants of the legume family have the unique ability to form a symbiotic association with soil bacteria, collectively known as Rhizobium, that results in the formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules on the root of the host plant. An exchange of molecular signals between plant and bacterium trigger the plant to form nodules, which the bacteria subsequently infect. Inside, the Rhizobia differentiate into a form that can fix atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium.

nodule and lateral root

My lab is interested in the evolution and development of legume nodules. In particular, we are interested in signaling networks within the plant that regulate nodule formation as well as in the evolution of nodulation. Our primary study system is the interaction between the model legume, Medicago truncatula and its rhizobial symbiont, Sinorhizobium meliloti.

Current Projects

Evolution of a predisposition for nodulation within the Leguminosae.

Role of the LATD gene in root meristem function and ABA signaling.

Regulation of the rhizobium-legume symbiosis by Jasmonic Acid.

A genetic screen for development genes with a role in nodulation.


Jeanne Harris's Lab Group
Harris lab (2013), left to right: Chang Zhang (grad student), Jeanne Harris (PI), Yucan Zhang (grad student), Parna Gosh (grad student), Gianna Sassi (grad student), Beck Powers (undergrad student), Matt Clayton (undergrad student), Christine Ondzighi-Assoume (postdoc).

Selected Publications

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