Participating Faculty
John Browse
Name:John Browse
Department:Institute of Biological Chemistry, WSU
Credentials:1977 - Ph.D., University of Auckland
Office:Clark 299
Mailing Address:

Institute of Biological Chemistry
Washington State University
PO Box 646340
Pullman, WA 99164-6340

Research Interests

Plant Reproduction

Research Summary

Highly unsaturated lipid molecules constitute approximately 50% of the hydrophobic membrane barriers, which delineate the compartments of plant cells, and they are major components of the light harvesting membranes of chloroplasts.  Many lines of evidence indicate that these lipids are critically important for many membrane functions and, thus, for the proper growth and development of plants.  In addition, lipid oils are a major form of carbon storage in seeds, and these vegetable oils have many commercial applications.

One of the research programs in my laboratory encompasses a diverse set of projects that have at their base our investigation of the biosynthesis and function of membrane and storage lipids in plants using Arabidopsis as a model.  These projects include the isolation and characterization of genes that control the elongation, desaturation, or other modifications of fatty acid.  The genes have been used to produce transgenic plants with altered membrane compositions or improved vegetable oils.  We have several research projects that focus on the roles of membrane lipids in the cell biology and physiology of plants using a large number of mutants with alterations in the lipid composition of their membranes.  In addition, our isolation of jasmonate-deficient and jasmonate-responsive mutants of Arabidopsis has allowed us to make new discoveries about the involvement of jasmonate in pollen development, plant fertility and plant defense.  These discoveries have wide implications for plant biology in areas ranging from hybrid breeding to crop protection.

Research Publications

Bates, P. D., et al. (2013). "Rapid separation of developing Arabidopsis seeds from siliques for RNA or metabolite analysis." Plant Methods 9(1): 9.

Bhosale, R., et al. (2013). "Predicting gene function from uncontrolled expression variation among individual wild-type Arabidopsis plants." Plant Cell 25(8): 2865-2877.

Dahmen, J. L., et al. (2013). "Cytochrome b(5) coexpression increases Tetrahymena thermophila Delta6 fatty acid desaturase activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae." Eukaryot Cell 12(6): 923-931.

Thines, B., et al. (2013). "Characterizing jasmonate regulation of male fertility in Arabidopsis." Methods Mol Biol 1011: 13-23.

Wayne, L. L. and J. Browse (2013). "Homologous electron transport components fail to increase fatty acid hydroxylation in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana." F1000Res 2: 203.

Wayne, L. L., et al. (2013). "Cytochrome b5 reductase encoded by CBR1 is essential for a functional male gametophyte in Arabidopsis." Plant Cell 25(8): 3052-3066.

Fahy, D., et al. (2013). "Reducing saturated fatty acids in Arabidopsis seeds by expression of a Caenorhabditis elegans 16:0-specific desaturase." Plant Biotechnol J 11(4): 480-489.

Bates, P. D. and J. Browse (2012). "The significance of different diacylgycerol synthesis pathways on plant oil composition and bioengineering." Front Plant Sci 3: 147.

Bates, P. D., et al. (2012). "Acyl editing and headgroup exchange are the major mechanisms that direct polyunsaturated fatty acid flux into triacylglycerols." Plant Physiol 160(3): 1530-1539.

Figueroa, P. and J. Browse (2012). "The Arabidopsis JAZ2 promoter contains a G-Box and thymidine-rich module that are necessary and sufficient for jasmonate-dependent activation by MYC transcription factors and repression by JAZ proteins." Plant Cell Physiol 53(2): 330-343.

Foster, J., et al. (2012). "A previously unknown oxalyl-CoA synthetase is important for oxalate catabolism in Arabidopsis." Plant Cell 24(3): 1217-1229.

Routaboul, J. M., et al. (2012). "Arabidopsis mutants reveal that short- and long-term thermotolerance have different requirements for trienoic fatty acids." J Exp Bot 63(3): 1435-1443.

Shyu, C., et al. (2012). "JAZ8 lacks a canonical degron and has an EAR motif that mediates transcriptional repression of jasmonate responses in Arabidopsis." Plant Cell 24(2): 536-550.

Wager, A. and J. Browse (2012). "Social Network: JAZ Protein Interactions Expand Our Knowledge of Jasmonate Signaling." Front Plant Sci 3: 41.

Bates, P. D. and J. Browse (2011). "The pathway of triacylglycerol synthesis through phosphatidylcholine in Arabidopsis produces a bottleneck for the accumulation of unusual fatty acids in transgenic seeds." Plant J 68(3): 387-399.

Chen, H., et al. (2011). "Malonyl-CoA synthetase, encoded by ACYL ACTIVATING ENZYME13, is essential for growth and development of Arabidopsis." Plant Cell 23(6): 2247-2262.

Shockey, J. and J. Browse (2011). "Genome-level and biochemical diversity of the acyl-activating enzyme superfamily in plants." The Plant journal 66(1): 143-160.

Lu, C., J. G. Wallis, et al. (2011). "Construction of a full-length cDNA library from castor endosperm for high-throughput functional screening." Methods in molecular biology 729: 37-52.

Niu, Y., P. Figueroa, et al. (2011). "Characterization of JAZ-interacting bHLH transcription factors that regulate jasmonate responses in Arabidopsis." Journal of experimental botany 62(6): 2143-2154.

van Erp, H., P. D. Bates, et al. (2011). "Castor phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase facilitates efficient metabolism of hydroxy Fatty acids in transgenic Arabidopsis." Plant physiology 155(2): 683-693.

Browse, J. (2010). "Plant science. Saving the bilayer." Science 330(6001): 185-186.

Sheard, L. B., X. Tan, et al. (2010). "Jasmonate perception by inositol-phosphate-potentiated COI1-JAZ co-receptor." Nature 468(7322): 400-405.

Kim, H. U., P. Vijayan, et al. (2010). "A mutation in the LPAT1 gene suppresses the sensitivity of fab1 plants to low temperature." Plant Physiol 153(3): 1135-1143.

Wallis, J. G. and J. Browse (2010). "Lipid biochemists salute the genome." Plant J 61(6): 1092-1106.

Weng, H., I. Molina, et al. (2010). "Organ fusion and defective cuticle function in a lacs1 lacs2 double mutant of Arabidopsis." Planta 231(5): 1089-1100.

Browse, J. (2009). "The power of mutants for investigating jasmonate biosynthesis and signaling." Phytochemistry 70(13-14): 1539-1546.

Chung, H. S., et al. (2009). "Top hits in contemporary JAZ: an update on jasmonate signaling." Phytochemistry 70(13-14): 1547-1559.

Lu, C., et al. (2009). "An enzyme regulating triacylglycerol composition is encoded by the ROD1 gene of Arabidopsis." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(44): 18837-18842.

Browse, J., Jasmonate: preventing the maize tassel from getting in touch with his feminine side. Sci Signal, 2009. 2(59): p. pe9.

Mandaokar, A. and J. Browse, MYB108 acts together with MYB24 to regulate jasmonate-mediated stamen maturation in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol, 2009. 149(2): p. 851-62.

Browse, J., Jasmonate passes muster: a receptor and targets for the defense hormone. Annu Rev Plant Biol, 2009. 60: p. 183-205.

Browse, J. and G.A. Howe, New weapons and a rapid response against insect attack. Plant Physiol, 2008. 146(3): p. 832-8.

Melotto, M., et al. (2008). "A critical role of two positively charged amino acids in the Jas motif of Arabidopsis JAZ proteins in mediating coronatine- and jasmonoyl isoleucine-dependent interactions with the COI1 F-box protein." Plant J 55(6): 979-988.

Kim, H. U., et al. (2008). "The AAE14 gene encodes the Arabidopsis o-succinylbenzoyl-CoA ligase that is essential for phylloquinone synthesis and photosystem-I function." Plant J 54(2): 272-283.

Burgal, J., J. Shockey, C. Lu, J. Dyer, T. Larson, I. Graham, and J. Browse, Metabolic engineering of hydroxy fatty acid production in plants: RcDGAT2 drives dramatic increases in ricinoleate levels in seed oil. Plant Biotechnol J, 2008. 6(8): p. 819-31.

Lu, C., J.G. Wallis, and J. Browse, An analysis of expressed sequence tags of developing castor endosperm using a full-length cDNA library. BMC Plant Biol, 2007. 7: p. 42.

Thines, B., L. Katsir, M. Melotto, Y. Niu, A. Mandaokar, G. Liu, K. Nomura, S.Y. He, G.A. Howe, and J. Browse, JAZ repressor proteins are targets of the SCF(COI1) complex during jasmonate signalling. Nature, 2007. 448(7154): p. 661-5.

Brock, T.J., J. Browse, and J.L. Watts, Fatty acid desaturation and the regulation of adiposity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics, 2007. 176(2): p. 865-75.

Xin, Z., et al. (2007). "Arabidopsis ESK1 encodes a novel regulator of freezing tolerance." Plant J 49(5): 786-799.

Brock, T.J., J. Browse, and J.L. Watts, Genetic regulation of unsaturated fatty acid composition in C. elegans. PLoS Genet, 2006. 2(7): p. e108.

Kubagawa, H.M., Watts, J.L., Corrigan, C., Edmonds, J., Sztul, E., Browse, J. and Miller, M.A.  2006  Oocyte Signals Derived from Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Control Sperm Recruitment in vivo.  Nature Cell Biol. 8:1143-1148.

Kumar, R., J.G. Wallis, C. Skidmore, and J. Browse, A mutation in Arabidopsis cytochrome b5 reductase identified by high-throughput screening differentially affects hydroxylation and desaturation. Plant J, 2006. 48(6): p. 920-32.

Tilton, G. B., et al. (2006). "Plant coenzyme A biosynthesis: characterization of two pantothenate kinases from Arabidopsis." Plant Mol Biol 61(4-5): 629-642.

Ma, X. and J. Browse (2006). "Altered rates of protein transport in Arabidopsis mutants deficient in chloroplast membrane unsaturation." Phytochemistry 67(15): 1629-1636.

Barkan, L., et al. (2006). "A suppressor of fab1 challenges hypotheses on the role of thylakoid unsaturation in photosynthetic function." Plant Physiol 141(3): 1012-1020.

Lu, C., M. Fulda, J.G. Wallis, and J. Browse, A high-throughput screen for genes from castor that boost hydroxy fatty acid accumulation in seed oils of transgenic Arabidopsis. Plant J, 2006. 45(5): . p. 847-56.

Mandaokar, A., B. Thines, B. Shin, B.M. Lange, G. Choi, Y.J. Koo, Y.J. Yoo, Y.D. Choi, G. Choi, and J. Browse, Transcriptional regulators of stamen development in Arabidopsis identified by transcriptional profiling. Plant J, 2006. 46(6): p. 984-1008.

Poxleitner, M., S.W. Rogers, A. Lacey Samuels, J. Browse, and J.C. Rogers, A role for caleosin in degradation of oil-body storage lipid during seed germination. Plant J, 2006. 47(6): p. 917-33.

Watts, J.L. and J. Browse, Dietary manipulation implicates lipid signaling in the regulation of germ cell maintenance in C. elegans. Dev Biol, 2006. 292(2): p. 381-92.

 Browse, J., Jasmonate: an oxylipin signal with many roles in plants. Vitam Horm, 2005. 72: p. 431-56.

Costa, M. A., et al. (2005). "Characterization in vitro and in vivo of the putative multigene 4-coumarate:CoA ligase network in Arabidopsis: syringyl lignin and sinapate/sinapyl alcohol derivative formation." Phytochemistry 66(17): 2072-2091.

Koo, A. J., et al. (2005). "Identification of a plastid acyl-acyl carrier protein synthetase in Arabidopsis and its role in the activation and elongation of exogenous fatty acids." Plant J 44(4): 620-632.

Browse, J. and B. M. Lange (2004). "Counting the cost of a cold-blooded life: metabolomics of cold acclimation." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(42): 14996-14997.

Fulda, M., et al. (2004). "Peroxisomal Acyl-CoA synthetase activity is essential for seedling development in Arabidopsis thaliana." Plant Cell 16(2): 394-405.

Heilmann, I., et al. (2004). "Identification of the Arabidopsis palmitoyl-monogalactosyldiacylglycerol delta7-desaturase gene FAD5, and effects of plastidial retargeting of Arabidopsis desaturases on the fad5 mutant phenotype." Plant Physiol 136(4): 4237-4245.

Kahn-Kirby, A. H., et al. (2004). "Specific polyunsaturated fatty acids drive TRPV-dependent sensory signaling in vivo." Cell 119(6): 889-900.

Schnurr, J., et al. (2004). "The acyl-CoA synthetase encoded by LACS2 is essential for normal cuticle development in Arabidopsis." Plant Cell 16(3): 629-642.

Tilton, G. B., et al. (2004). "Biochemical and molecular characterization of ACH2, an acyl-CoA thioesterase from Arabidopsis thaliana." J Biol Chem 279(9): 7487-7494.

Mandaokar, A., et al. (2003). "Microarray and differential display identify genes involved in jasmonate-dependent anther development." Plant Mol Biol 52(4): 775-786.

Shockey, J. M., et al. (2003). "Arabidopsis contains a large superfamily of acyl-activating enzymes. Phylogenetic and biochemical analysis reveals a new class of acyl-coenzyme a synthetases." Plant Physiol 132(2): 1065-1076.

Watts, J. L., et al. (2003). "Deficiencies in C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids cause behavioral and developmental defects in Caenorhabditis elegans fat-3 mutants." Genetics 163(2): 581-589. 

Center for Reproductive Biology cited as author affiliation.
Washington State University