Vivian Irish, PhD
Research & Publications
Our lab is interested in pattern formation during plant development. The Arabidopsis petal is an ideal system for these studies, since it is dispensable for growth and reproduction, has a simple laminar structure, and is composed of only a few cell types. Using forward and reverse genetic approaches, as well as biochemical and genomic strategies, we are characterizing the transcriptional networks responsible for different aspects of petal development. We have also examined how cell-cell interactions regulate petal patterning. In order to understand how the developmental mechanisms responsible for floral patterning have evolved to give rise to the diversity of floral forms that we see today, we are characterizing these pathways in several other species. Using these approaches, we hope to elucidate how dividing cells acquire information about their position and differentiate accordingly, as well as how these processes have been modulated through evolution.
Specialized Terms: developmental genetics; Arabidopsis; evolution of development
Extensive Research Description
The Irish lab is interested in understanding plant growth and development. Our current research efforts are described below.
Stem cell proliferation and arrest in Citrus
In plants, cells of the shoot apical meristem (SAM) act as stem cells, giving rise to more stem cells as well as specialized cell types contributing to the leaves, branches and fruit. We are investigating the basis for thorn development in Citrus as a means to understand how the termination of stem cell proliferation is controlled. Thorns arise from SAM cells that fail to self-renew, and instead terminally differentiate, providing a unique opportunity to explore how SAM cell proliferation is controlled. We are using a combination of transcriptomics, molecular genetics and newly developed transgenic approaches to identify the genes and processes responsible for thorn development and how this unusual stem cell arrest process is controlled. Citrus plant growth, fruit yield and harvest costs are all affected by thorniness, and so understanding how to manipulate thorn production will also greatly impact the economics of this valuable fruit crop.
Control of petal organogenesis
Organ formation, whether in animals or plants, depends on several processes. These include delimitation of where an organ will form, growth of the organ, and its consequent differentiation. Using the Arabidopsis petal as a model organ system, we are investigating the genes and cellular processes that contribute to the development of this seemingly simple organ type. We are examining how a transcriptional repressor, RBE, coordinately regulates both organ boundary formation and organ growth. We have shown that RBE acts early in petal development to control the formation of organ boundaries, and recent results suggest that RBE also regulates a transcriptional cascade of events that act as a timing mechanism to control organ growth. We are currently investigating the cellular basis for growth control in petals, and how transcriptional changes are manifested as changes in cell proliferation.
Control of petal cell type differentiation
Petal conical epidermal cells are covered in radiate nanoridges that give these cells unique physical properties. The nanoridges are vital for pollinator attraction, iridescence, wettability, and can provide tactile cues. However, the molecular, cellular, and mechanical bases for how this unusual cell type is formed and functions is not well understood. We are using a combination of biochemical, molecular genetic, and modeling approaches to develop a mechanistic understanding of how conical epidermal cell morphology is achieved.
Ecology; Biological Evolution; Genetics; Human Development; Molecular Biology; Developmental Biology; Arabidopsis
- Do Epigenetic Timers Control Petal Development?Huang R, Huang T, Irish V. Do Epigenetic Timers Control Petal Development? Frontiers In Plant Science 2021, 12: 709360. PMID: 34295349, PMCID: PMC8290480, DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2021.709360.
- Reprogramming of Stem Cell Activity to Convert Thorns into BranchesZhang F, Rossignol P, Huang T, Wang Y, May A, Dupont C, Orbovic V, Irish VF. Reprogramming of Stem Cell Activity to Convert Thorns into Branches Current Biology 2020, 30: 2951-2961.e5. PMID: 32559443, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.05.068.
- Vivian IrishIrish V. Vivian Irish Current Biology 2018, 28: r641-r642. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.04.066.
- Increased efficiency of targeted mutagenesis by CRISPR/Cas9 in plants using heat stressLeBlanc C, Zhang F, Mendez J, Lozano Y, Chatpar K, Irish V, Jacob Y. Increased efficiency of targeted mutagenesis by CRISPR/Cas9 in plants using heat stress The Plant Journal 2017, 93: 377-386. PMID: 29161464, DOI: 10.1111/tpj.13782.
- The ABC model of floral developmentIrish V. The ABC model of floral development Current Biology 2017, 27: r887-r890. PMID: 28898659, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.045.
- Rhamnose-Containing Cell Wall Polymers Suppress Helical Plant Growth Independently of Microtubule OrientationSaffer AM, Carpita NC, Irish VF. Rhamnose-Containing Cell Wall Polymers Suppress Helical Plant Growth Independently of Microtubule Orientation Current Biology 2017, 27: 2248-2259.e4. PMID: 28736166, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.032.
- Petal Development: A twist in fateSaffer A, Carpita N, Irish V. Petal Development: A twist in fate Cells And Development 2017, 145: s13. DOI: 10.1016/j.mod.2017.04.561.
- CorrigendumLi J, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Wang W, Irish V, Huang T. Corrigendum Journal Of Experimental Botany 2017, 68: erx036-. PMID: 28207071, PMCID: PMC5853423, DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erx036.
- Gene networks controlling petal organogenesisHuang T, Irish VF. Gene networks controlling petal organogenesis Journal Of Experimental Botany 2015, 67: 61-68. PMID: 26428062, DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erv444.
- Temporal Control of Plant Organ Growth by TCP Transcription FactorsHuang T, Irish VF. Temporal Control of Plant Organ Growth by TCP Transcription Factors Current Biology 2015, 25: 1765-1770. PMID: 26073137, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.05.024.
- A dexamethasone-inducible gene expression system is active in Citrus plantsRossignol P, Orbović V, Irish V. A dexamethasone-inducible gene expression system is active in Citrus plants Scientia Horticulturae 2014, 172: 47-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2014.02.041.
- RBE controls microRNA164 expression to effect floral organogenesisHuang T, López-Giráldez F, Townsend JP, Irish VF. RBE controls microRNA164 expression to effect floral organogenesis Development 2012, 139: 2161-2169. PMID: 22573623, DOI: 10.1242/dev.075069.
- The Arabidopsis Floral Homeotic Proteins APETALA3 and PISTILLATA Negatively Regulate the BANQUO Genes Implicated in Light SignalingMara CD, Huang T, Irish VF. The Arabidopsis Floral Homeotic Proteins APETALA3 and PISTILLATA Negatively Regulate the BANQUO Genes Implicated in Light Signaling The Plant Cell 2010, 22: 690-702. PMID: 20305124, PMCID: PMC2861465, DOI: 10.1105/tpc.109.065946.
- Petal development: Variations on a themeIrish V. Petal development: Variations on a theme Developmental Biology 2009, 331: 399. DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.05.054.
- An Arabidopsis F-box protein acts as a transcriptional co-factor to regulate floral developmentChae E, Tan Q, Hill TA, Irish VF. An Arabidopsis F-box protein acts as a transcriptional co-factor to regulate floral development Development 2008, 135: 1235-1245. PMID: 18287201, DOI: 10.1242/dev.015842.
- Functional Analyses of Two Tomato APETALA3 Genes Demonstrate Diversification in Their Roles in Regulating Floral Developmentde Martino G, Pan I, Emmanuel E, Levy A, Irish VF. Functional Analyses of Two Tomato APETALA3 Genes Demonstrate Diversification in Their Roles in Regulating Floral Development The Plant Cell 2006, 18: 1833-1845. PMID: 16844904, PMCID: PMC1533988, DOI: 10.1105/tpc.106.042978.
- Duplication, Diversification, and Comparative Genetics of Angiosperm MADS‐Box GenesIrish V. Duplication, Diversification, and Comparative Genetics of Angiosperm MADS‐Box Genes 2006, 44: 129-161. DOI: 10.1016/s0065-2296(06)44003-9.
- Identification and quantification of expression levels of three FRUITFULL-like MADS-box genes from the orchid Dendrobium thyrsiflorum (Reichb. f.)Skipper M, Pedersen K, Johansen L, Frederiksen S, Irish V, Johansen B. Identification and quantification of expression levels of three FRUITFULL-like MADS-box genes from the orchid Dendrobium thyrsiflorum (Reichb. f.) Plant Science 2005, 169: 579-586. DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2005.04.011.
- Growth and development Something old, something new….Irish V, Benfey P. Growth and development Something old, something new…. Current Opinion In Plant Biology 2004, 7: 1-3. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2003.11.012.
- Diversification of Floral Homeotic Gene FunctionIrish V. Diversification of Floral Homeotic Gene Function HortScience 2003, 38: 1328-1330. DOI: 10.21273/hortsci.38.7.1328.
- Functional divergence within the APETALA3/PISTILLATA floral homeotic gene lineagesLamb RS, Irish VF. Functional divergence within the APETALA3/PISTILLATA floral homeotic gene lineages Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America 2003, 100: 6558-6563. PMID: 12746493, PMCID: PMC164485, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0631708100.
- Evo-Devo Branches OutIrish V. Evo-Devo Branches Out Science 2002, 298: 2135-2136. DOI: 10.1126/science.1078656.
- Response: Missing links: the genetic architecture of flower and floral diversificationBaum D, Doebley J, Irish V, Kramer E. Response: Missing links: the genetic architecture of flower and floral diversification Trends In Plant Science 2002, 7: 31-34. DOI: 10.1016/s1360-1385(01)02181-1.
- Cell lineage, cell signaling and the control of plant morphogenesisIrish V, Jenik P. Cell lineage, cell signaling and the control of plant morphogenesis Current Opinion In Genetics & Development 2001, 11: 424-430. PMID: 11448629, DOI: 10.1016/s0959-437x(00)00213-6.
- Evolution of the Petal and Stamen Developmental Programs: Evidence from Comparative Studies of the Lower Eudicots and Basal AngiospermsKramer E, Irish V. Evolution of the Petal and Stamen Developmental Programs: Evidence from Comparative Studies of the Lower Eudicots and Basal Angiosperms International Journal Of Plant Sciences 2000, 161: s29-s40. DOI: 10.1086/317576.
- Variations on a theme: flower development and evolutionIrish V. Variations on a theme: flower development and evolution Genome Biology 2000, 1: reviews1015.1. PMID: 11178237, PMCID: PMC138852, DOI: 10.1186/gb-2000-1-2-reviews1015.
- Copying out our ABCs: the role of gene redundancy in interpreting genetic hierarchiesMartienssen R, Irish V. Copying out our ABCs: the role of gene redundancy in interpreting genetic hierarchies Trends In Genetics 1999, 15: 435-437. PMID: 10529802, DOI: 10.1016/s0168-9525(99)01833-8.
- CYP78A5 encodes a cytochrome P450 that marks the shoot apical meristem boundary in ArabidopsisZondlo S, Irish V. CYP78A5 encodes a cytochrome P450 that marks the shoot apical meristem boundary in Arabidopsis The Plant Journal 1999, 19: 259-268. PMID: 10476073, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1999.00523.x.
- Evolution of genetic mechanisms controlling petal developmentKramer E, Irish V. Evolution of genetic mechanisms controlling petal development Nature 1999, 399: 144-148. PMID: 10335842, DOI: 10.1038/20172.
- Patterning the FlowerIrish V. Patterning the Flower Developmental Biology 1999, 209: 211-220. PMID: 10328916, DOI: 10.1006/dbio.1999.9226.
- Molecular evolution of genes controlling petal and stamen development: duplication and divergence within the APETALA3 and PISTILLATA MADS-box gene lineages.Kramer E, Dorit R, Irish V. Molecular evolution of genes controlling petal and stamen development: duplication and divergence within the APETALA3 and PISTILLATA MADS-box gene lineages. Genetics 1998, 149: 765-83. PMID: 9611190, PMCID: PMC1460198, DOI: 10.1093/genetics/149.2.765.
- 5 Petal and Stamen DevelopmentIrish V. 5 Petal and Stamen Development 1998, 41: 133-161. PMID: 9784975, DOI: 10.1016/s0070-2153(08)60272-0.
- Genetic and Molecular Analysis of Angiosperm Flower DevelopmentIrish V, Kramer E. Genetic and Molecular Analysis of Angiosperm Flower Development 1998, 28: 197-230. DOI: 10.1016/s0065-2296(08)60297-9.
- Floral development in ArabidopsisIrish V. Floral development in Arabidopsis Plant Physiology And Biochemistry 1998, 36: 61-68. DOI: 10.1016/s0981-9428(98)80091-0.
- Floral homeotic gene expression defines developmental arrest stages inBrassica oleracea L. vars.botrytis anditalicaCarr S, Irish V. Floral homeotic gene expression defines developmental arrest stages inBrassica oleracea L. vars.botrytis anditalica Planta 1997, 201: 179-188. PMID: 9084216, DOI: 10.1007/bf01007702.
- Cell ablation and the analysis of plant developmentDay C, Irish V. Cell ablation and the analysis of plant development Trends In Plant Science 1997, 2: 106-111. DOI: 10.1016/s1360-1385(97)01004-2.
- Plant sex education Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Plant Reproduction edited by R. J. Scott and A. D. Stead, Cambridge University Press, 1994. £45.00/$69.95 (325 pages) ISBN 0 521 45525 1Irish V. Plant sex education Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Plant Reproduction edited by R. J. Scott and A. D. Stead, Cambridge University Press, 1994. £45.00/$69.95 (325 pages) ISBN 0 521 45525 1 Trends In Cell Biology 1996, 6: 119-120. DOI: 10.1016/0962-8924(96)81004-x.
- Cellular Interactions Mediated by the HomeoticPISTILLATAGene Determine Cell Fate in theArabidopsisFlowerBouhidel K, Irish V. Cellular Interactions Mediated by the HomeoticPISTILLATAGene Determine Cell Fate in theArabidopsisFlower Developmental Biology 1996, 174: 22-31. PMID: 8626018, DOI: 10.1006/dbio.1996.0048.
- Conservation of Floral Homeotic Gene Function between Arabidopsis and AntirrhinumIrish V, Yamamoto Y. Conservation of Floral Homeotic Gene Function between Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum The Plant Cell 1995, 7: 1635. DOI: 10.2307/3870025.
- Cell fate determination in plant developmentIrish V. Cell fate determination in plant development Seminars In Cell And Developmental Biology 1993, 4: 73-81. DOI: 10.1006/sedb.1993.1009.
- A fate map of the Arabidopsis embryonic shoot apical meristemIrish V, Sussex I. A fate map of the Arabidopsis embryonic shoot apical meristem Development 1992, 115: 745-753. DOI: 10.1242/dev.115.3.745.
- Cell lineage in plant developmentIrish V. Cell lineage in plant development Current Opinion In Cell Biology 1991, 3: 983-987. PMID: 1814369, DOI: 10.1016/0955-0674(91)90117-h.
- Cell lineage in plant developmentIrish V. Cell lineage in plant development Current Opinion In Genetics & Development 1991, 1: 169-173. PMID: 1822266, DOI: 10.1016/s0959-437x(05)80065-6.
- Function of the apetala-1 Gene during Arabidopsis Floral DevelopmentIrish V, Sussex I. Function of the apetala-1 Gene during Arabidopsis Floral Development The Plant Cell 1990, 2: 741. DOI: 10.2307/3869173.
- The Drosophila posterior-group gene nanos functions by repressing hunchback activityIrish V, Lehmann R, Akam M. The Drosophila posterior-group gene nanos functions by repressing hunchback activity Nature 1989, 338: 646-648. PMID: 2704419, DOI: 10.1038/338646a0.
- Cracking the Drosophila eggIrish V. Cracking the Drosophila egg Trends In Genetics 1987, 3: 303-304. DOI: 10.1016/0168-9525(87)90274-5.