The ultimate goal of our research is to understand how a network of filamentous structures, the cytoskeleton, functions during plant growth and response to biotic and abiotic stimuli.Cytoskeletal polymers called actin filaments power diverse cellular motility events.Although plant cells are not motile, actin filaments contribute to the dynamic intracellular movement of organelles and vesicles, coordinate endo- and exocytosis, and organize the cellular architecture. In addition to mechanochemical enzymes or motor proteins, including the myosins that hydrolyze ATP to run along cytoskeletal tracks, the energy of actin polymerization itself can be harnessed to perform work.Actin dynamics, or the rapid turnover of actin filaments, play a central role in these cellular processes.A large and diverse cast of characters, accessory proteins known as actin-binding proteins, modulate actin dynamics through binding to the monomer pool, interacting with the side and ends of filaments, creating breaks along a filament, and generating new filaments de novo.We use a combination of biochemistry, cell biology and advanced imaging technologies, as well as reverse-genetics to understand the properties and function of plant actin-binding proteins. Recent biochemical and single filament imaging analyses of several conserved classes of plant actin-binding proteins reveal unusual and unexpected properties.Notable examples include: an abundant monomer-binding protein (CAP) that catalyzes nucleotide exchange; a barbed-end capping protein (CP) that is dissociated from filament ends by the signaling lipid, phosphatidic acid; a villin-like bundling protein (VLN1) that lacks all Ca2+-regulated activities; and a formin family member (AFH1) that is non-processive and is sufficient to generate actin filament bundles.These and other recent discoveries motivate a careful description of the properties of plant proteins in vitro as a prelude to greater insight about the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the regulation of actin dynamics in vivo.
Ph.D., California, Berkeley, 1990
Professional Faculty Research
(Plant cell/developmental biology) Cytoskeletal function during plant development and cellular morphogenesis; cytoskeletal response to environmental signals and host-cell response to microbes.
- University Faculty Scholar, Purdue University (2000-2005)
- Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, Bonn, Germany (2001)
- Seeds For Success, Purdue University (2006; 2010; 2011)
- DOE-Physical Biosciences: Regulation of actin dynamics at filaments ends: The role of capping protein in stochastic dynamics and organellar function.
- DOE-EFRC: C3Bio, Center for direct catalytic conversion of biomass to biofuels (M. McCann, PI)
- NSF-Arabidopsis 2010:Dissecting cortical actin function during Arabidopsis-Pseudomonas interactions.
- The Plant Cell, Co-editor (2005–present)
- Plant and Cell Physiology, editorial board member (2007–2010)
- Cytoskeleton, editorial board member (2010-present)
- Frontiers in Plant Science, associate guest editor (2013-present)
Grant Review/Study Section
- CRP-Santé, Luxembourg
- American Society of Plant Biologists, Corresponding Membership Award Committee 2005-2008; Chair 2007-2008
- Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China, Sept. 21, 2010. Turning over tracks: Stochastic dynamics of the cortical actin cytoskeleton of Arabidopsis epidermal cells.
- Dept. of Plant Sciences, China Agriculture University (CAU), Beijing, China, Sept. 22, 2010. Turning over tracks: Stochastic dynamics of the cortical actin cytoskeleton of Arabidopsis epidermal cells.
- Oncology Dept., Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, CRP-Santé, Luxembourg, Feb. 29, 2012. Dissecting actin and actin-binding proteins under the TIRF microscope.
- Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes (IBMP), Université de Strasbourg, France, March 1, 2012. Turning over tracks: Stochastic dynamics of the cortical actin cytoskeleton of Arabidopsis epidermal cells.
- Dept. of Experimental Plant Biology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republich, March 5, 2012. Stochastic dynamics in the cortical actin array are altered by capping protein mutants.
- Chicago Cytoskeleton, Northwestern Univ. Medical School, March 15, 2013. Actin Stochastic Dynamics: How Plants Cope with Insults.
- Plant Biology Program, Penn State University, April 8th, 2013. Actin stochastic dynamics: How plants cope with insults.
- 21st International Congress on Sexual Plant Reproduction (ICSPR), Bristol, England, August 2-6, 2010. Invited talk. “Regulation of actin dynamics”
- Gordon Research Conference, Plant and Microbial Cytoskeleton, Andover, NH, August 8-23, 2010. Invited talk. “Molecular control over actin filament stochastic dynamics in Arabidopsis”
- Eighth International Conference on the Frontiers of Plant Biology: Cells and Signals, Wuyishan, China, September 23-27,2010. Session Chair “Cytoskeleton” section, and invited plenary talk. “Turning over tracks: Stochastic dynamics of the cortical actin cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis epidermal cells”
- NSF Arabidopsis 2010 Imaging Workshop, Purdue University, May 1-6, 2011. Organized conference and hosted collaborators from MSU (Day lab) and Oregon State (Chang lab). Invited talk: “Regulation of actin stochastic dynamics by plant ABPs”
- 18th International Botanical Congress (IBC2011), Melbourne, Australia, July 23-30, 2011. Symposium Co-Chair w/ David McCurdy (Newcastle Univ.) on Cellular Dynamics. Invited talk: “Turning over tracks: The dynamics of actin filaments and bundles in the cortical array of Arabidopsis cells.
- 1st Midwest Plant Cell Dynamics Meeting, University of Wisconsin–Madison, June 20-23, 2012. Invited talk: “Regulation of Actin Filament Stochastic Dynamics”. Presented by CJ Staiger, Jessica Henty (Ph.D. student) and Jiejie Li (post-doctoral scientist)
- 2nd Annual NSF Arabidopsis 2010 Imaging Workshop, Purdue University, July 15-18, 2012. Organized and hosted collaborators from MSU (Day lab) and Oregon State (Chang lab) and Purdue. Invited talk: “Regulation of actin stochastic dynamics by plant ABPs”
- Gordon Research Conference, Plant and Microbial Cytoskeleton, Andover, NH, August 12-17, 2012. Session Chair: “Actin Dynamics”. Invited Talk: “The plant actin cytoskeleton is a novel component of innate immunity" given by J.L. Henty
- 10th International Society for Plant Molecular Biology (IPMB) Congress, Jeju, Korea, Oct. 21-26, 2012. Co-chair w/ Takashi Hashimoto (NAIST, Japan) of a Symposium on The Plant Cytoskeleton. Invited talk: "Turning over tracks: Stochastic dynamics of the cortical actin array in epidermal cells".
- Staiger, C. J., M. Sheahan, P. Khurana, X. Wang, D. W. McCurdy, and L. Blanchoin. 2009. Actin filament dynamics are dominated by rapid growth and prolific severing activity in the Arabidopsis cortical array. J. Cell Biol. 184: 269-280
- Tian, M., F. Chaudhry, D.R. Ruzicka, R.B. Meagher, C.J. Staiger and B. Day. 2009. Arabidopsis actin-depolymerizing factor AtADF4 mediates defense signal transduction triggered by the Pseudomonas syringae effector AvrPphB. Plant Physiol., 150: 815-824
- Poulter, N.S., C.J. Staiger, J.Z. Rappoport, and V.E. Franklin-Tong. 2010. Actin-binding proteins implicated in formation of the punctate actin foci stimulated by the self-incompatibility response in Papaver. Plant Physiol., 152: 1274-1283
- Zhang, H., X. Qu, C. Bao, P. Khurana, Q. Wang, Y. Zheng, N. Chen, Y. Xie, L. Blanchoin, C.J. Staiger and S. Huang. 2010. Arabidopsis VILLIN5, an actin filament bundling and severing protein, is necessary for normal pollen tube growth. Plant Cell, 22: 2749-2767
- Khurana, P., J.L. Henty, S. Huang, A.M. Staiger, L. Blanchoin, and C.J. Staiger. 2010. Arabidopsis VILLIN1 and VILLIN3 have overlapping and distinct activities in actin bundle formation and turnover. Plant Cell, 22: 2727-2748
- Whippo, C.W., P. Khurana, P.A. Davis, S.L. DeBlasio, D. DeSloover, C.J. Staiger and R.P Hangarter. 2011. THRUMIN1 is a light-regulated actin-bundling protein involved in chloroplast motility. Current Biology, 21: 59-64
- Henty, J.L., S.W. Bledsoe, P. Khurana, R.B. Meagher, B. Day, L. Blanchoin, and C.J. Staiger. 2011. Arabidopsis Actin Depolymerizing Factor4 modulates the stochastic dynamic behavior of actin filaments in the cortical array of epidermal cells. Plant Cell, 23:3711-3726
- Li, J., J.L. Henty-Ridilla, S. Huang, X. Wang, L. Blanchoin, and C.J. Staiger. 2012. Capping protein modulates the dynamic behavior of actin filaments in response to phosphatidic acid in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 24: 3742-3754
- Pleskot, R., P. Pejchar, V. ?árský, C.J. Staiger, and M. Potocký. 2012. Structural insights into the inhibition of actin-capping protein by interactions with phosphatidic acid and phosphatidlyinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate. PLoS Computational Biology 8(11): e1002765
- Henty-Ridilla, J.L., M. Shimono, J. Li, J.H. Chang, B. Day, and C.J. Staiger. 2013. The plant actin cytoskeleton responds to signals from microbe-associated molecular patterns. PLoS Pathogens 9(4): e1003290
- Blanchoin*, L. and C.J. Staiger*. 2010. Plant formins: diverse isoforms and unique molecular mechanism. Biochim. Biophys. Acta¬–Mol. Cell Res. 1803: 201-206. [*co-corresponding authors]
- Staiger, C.J., N.S. Poulter, J.L. Henty, V.E. Franklin-Tong and L. Blanchoin. 2010. Regulation of actin dynamics by actin-binding proteins in pollen. J. Exp. Bot., 61: 1969-1986
- Blanchoin, L.*, R. Paterski-Boujemaa, J.L. Henty, P. Khurana, and C.J. Staiger* 2010. Actin dynamics in plant cells: A team effort from multiple proteins orchestrates this very fast-paced game. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol., 13: 714-723 [*co-corresponding authors]
- Day, B., J.L. Henty, K.J. Porter, and C.J. Staiger. 2011. The pathogen-actin connection: A platform for defense signaling in plants. Annu. Rev. Phytopath. 49:489-506
- Pleskot, R., J. Li, V. Zárský, M. Potocký and C.J. Staiger*. 2013. Regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics by phospholipase D and phosphatidic acid. Trends Plant Sci. in press